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Are mentors a part of your total rewards program?

Talent|Total Rewards

By Michael Tyukodi | September 26, 2019

Organizations that don’t include career development in their total rewards programs are missing an opportunity to develop more talented, engaged employees.

No matter where you are in your career, at one point you probably needed “that person” to help you. To believe in you. To give you an opportunity that you weren’t quite ready for. To see talent in you that was not yet present. Without that person, you might not be where you are today.

I got to thinking about mentors after attending our Accelerate 2019 conference earlier this year. Our speakers and workshops focused on pressing issues facing HR professionals today. Although none of the sessions covered the need for mentors specifically, the theme of the vital role mentors play in our professional – and personal – development came through during many of the presentations.

Our opening speaker covered the historical background of music in New Orleans. As part of his speech, he discussed the early beginnings of the great Louis Armstrong and how he was first introduced to music. Without his mentors, there is no legendary Louis Armstrong.

During our inclusion and diversity (I&D) panel, this theme held true. While panelists were focused on how I&D can positively influence business performance, each had an amazing story to tell. They all touched on how they got to their leadership positions with someone believing in them or how they had advanced a cause by believing and helping others.

Career development and total rewards

While total rewards in most organizations includes pay, benefits and wellbeing programs, not all organizations include career development as part of their total rewards packages. Organizations that don’t are missing an opportunity to develop more talented, engaged employees and capture key data to determine their total rewards ROI.

Our 2018 Modernizing Total Rewards Survey found that leading organizations assess the value of their total rewards programs in four out of the following five key metrics:


  1. Total cost of all total rewards programs
  2. Cost of individual programs


  1. Impact on employee engagement
  2. Impact on ability to retain employees
  3. Impact on ability to attract employees

When you look at these metrics from the career perspective, it is easy to see why the value of a career should be included in the definition of total rewards. Yes, the cost of tuition reimbursement or learning and development programs can easily be quantified. But career development also has a very clear impact on employee engagement and the attraction and retention of employees.

The role of mentors in total rewards

If employees are not happy in their careers, they are likely to be less engaged and, therefore, more of a flight risk in many situations. This is where the value of a mentor comes into play. Leaders, managers, supervisors and coworkers can all play an active role in career development.

The right mentor provides experiences or advice on your career direction. Note, these likely are not all voluntary assignments. But the value of a career is not going to be quantified by the amount of tuition reimbursement you received. Instead, it will be based on interesting projects you’ve worked on, lateral moves that exposed you to other areas of the business, and failures you came across as you stretched out of your comfort zone.

It’s that compilation of experiences and learnings that composes the value of a career and it all starts with that one person who believed in you to do something different.


Director - New Business

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