What it’s Like to Mentor the Peter Pan Generation

What it’s Like to Mentor the Peter Pan Generation

In order to understand the behavior of Millennials in the workplace, it’s better to start with answering the question who they are and what are main Millennials characteristics.


Millennials, also known as Generation Y or Peter Pan Generation, are people born between 1981 and 1999. Nowadays they represent the half of all employees on the world job market. For manager, it creates many challenges because mentoring Millennials differs from mentoring other generations. Speaking of their needs and expectations from their employers, Millennials draw as much attention as possible. They require constant feedback and they crave for immediate success. Millennials consider their work as the main part of their lives and succeeding in career ensure their fulfillment. At the same time, they want their managers to provide help and guidance to succeed. But let’s cover their expectations in depth in order to choose main strategies for successfully mentoring them.



While managing Millennials it’s important to understand that they want integrity from their leaders. They don’t expect anything to perfect and polished. Only truth and authenticity matters to them. Millennials are always willing to face the reality. It is important to share all the details. If things are bad, they need to know this and they will do everything to make it better. In communication, better to stay straightforward.


Tolerance and Team working

These factors are highly important for Millennials because they are team players. They enjoy collaborative work and group interaction. In addition, they want to know that their opinion and the opinion of peers matters and will be definitely heard. A good manager is a tolerant listener that is able to dialogue with multiple teams and maintain working environments.



It is the main value for Millennials. They want a leader they can unconditionally trust. Millennials want to hear an honest feedback, even if it’s negative. They are also susceptible to people who are concentrated on their personal gain rather than helping others. They will appreciate and respect managers that are willing to serve their teams.


Participation and Concern

If you don’t want your promising employees to job hop, it’s necessary to understand that demonstrating leader’s concern is crucial for your staff. Relationships in the company is the main asset for Gen Y. Manager’s job needs to create a corporate spirit and to worry about major social issues as well as to concern about individual employees.



Like every person, Millennials don’t want to have any discord with colleagues and especially with their boss. They want to work under the sensitive guidance of the conscious, tolerant and flexible manager. Mark Slack., a Recruiter at GoodHired with years of experience said: “Having a respectful relationship with leaders and colleagues is a core aspect of successful work”. Besides, if Millennials don’t receive what they need and face disrespectful attitude, chances are they will report disrespect to HR.


Work Flexibility

Millennials are looking for work flexibility, so, if it is possible, set the weekdays you want them to be in the office and let them work at home. It will be perfect to let them set their own schedule of hours. Also, for some people working from 10 to 7 will be more effective than from 8 to 5.


Work-Life Balance

People spend one-third of their lives at work. It is of paramount importance to give your employees more spare time and flexible vacations. Ensure the opportunity to find the balance between work and private life.

Once we have covered Millennials’ needs and expectations form leader, let’s proceed to different types of modern mentoring.


From the professional point of view, there are 4 types of mentoring approaches for Millennials:

  1. Reverse Mentoring

This type of mentoring implies the change of traditional relationship between mentor and mentee. The less experienced employee will mentor senior executive. Both mentor and mentee will mutually learn from this approach. They will gain knowledge, new skills, and understanding of new working segment otherwise unavailable for both of them.

  1. Group Mentoring

This is the best approach to give Millennials the desired feedback on their work. Millennials will get a great support. It gives a nice possibility to hear from your peers how they cope with same issues or to get some work ideas. Many companies use different platform that allows sharing documents, audio/video podcasts, conference calls and much more.

  1. Mentoring with Microfeedback

This type of mentoring process can provide guidance with minimal resources. Millennials require constant feedback on their career progress. Now, using the software, employees can get an instant brief message with some comments, useful details or advice.

  1. Anonymous Mentoring

Millennials will interact with experienced mentors from other companies and organizations. This approach also involves psychological testing and experience review. The collaboration is conducted online on an anonymous basis. In addition, mentor/mentee location doesn’t matter. It’s possible to coach employees being located in different countries and even on different continents.


As you can see, mentoring Millennials is not so daunting. The main task of each leader is to find personal approach to employees and implementing these strategies will facilitate this process.



Alice Berg

Alice Berg is a blogger from Bath, UK, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers.

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