(Matthew 6:19-21) 44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and in his joy he went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46When he found one very precious pearl, he went away and sold all he had and bought it.
Why on Allah’s green Earth do we begin with a quote from the book which should check its privilege everywhere it is sold?
Because, although it is sexist, racist, homophobic, Satanophobic, Islamophobic, in Saint Matthew’s verse we have one of the best descriptions of the average millennial employee. For millennials truly are like ‘a treasure hidden in a field’ or ‘one very precious pearl’. Any company which manages to attract and retain a millennial employee is incredibly fortunate and well worth investing in.
In the distant past, employees enjoyed little job security. They could be ’employee of the month’ one day and out on the streets ‘on their ear’ the next, for no particular reason. Such people fretted over ‘being at work at time’, ‘putting in a good shift’, doing their utmost to demonstrate grovelling loyalty to their exacting employer at all times. Usually, they died of stress at the age of 50. Nobody mourned their passing, they were easily replaced, and their epitaph was ‘could have done better.’
Millennials are Allah’s literal gift to the 21st century economy. Paradoxically, despite the apparent threat to their employment from digitalization, replacement by robots, globalisation, mass immigration, cost-cutting etc. millennials have a high sense of their worth. Rather than asking what they can do for their employer (pace Kennedy), a more apposite question for them is what employers can do for millennials?
Whist we’re not exactly sure why millennials deserve special treatment, the reality is that they are demanding it and therefore it is cumbersome on today’s employers to adapt themselves to millennials’ demands. If employers fail to take the following advice to heart, they only have themselves to blame if their millennial employees abandon them in droves and subsequently file for bankruptcy. We recommend that all employers put the following in place to attract and retain their millennial employees:
– install chill-out ‘zen’ zones on every floor with recliners/ sun beds. Because desks and chairs are so 1990. Such zones will allow your cool staff to think creatively, allowing you to solve even the most complex of business issues that have been occupying senior staff’s minds for years.
– games. Lots of them. It could be foosball/ table soccer or else something from Nintendo. If in doubt, ask your millennial employees, who are best placed to know. Whilst it might look like you are paying eye watering salaries to 20-something arts graduates just for pissing around, the reality is that they are thinking on a strategic level 30 years into the future.
– a career path to the CEO position…quickly. In the old unenlighted days, an employee might have to work his/ her whole life before being offered a position of serious responsibility. Nowadays, a millennial needs a cast-bitcoin guarantee that they will get to the board of directors before the age of 30. Ok, so at that age, people are bound to make mistakes. But, isn’t the whole point that people learn from their mistakes and become better as a result? If so, we should be promoting millenials to the C-Suite right now so that they can make as many mistakes as possible.
– flexitime. It’s inhuman to expect a human to get out of bed before 10am and at their chill-out zone before midday.
– sabbaticals/ career breaks. Consider introducing these even before your millennial employee actually starts work. When they do eventually join you, they will be more rounded individuals
In concluding, it is rare that the world is gifted with such an intrinsically talented generation as the millenials. Employers simply can’t do enough to retain and attract them.