The Range of Incentives, Support & Recognition

Barry Sweeny, 2010

When your program designs anything related to incentives, support, or recognition of mentors,  BE CREATIVE!

This list is provided to help you generate your own ideas. Since what may serve as an incentive for one person, may not entice another person, involve the mentors in the collaborative “negotiation” of incentives, or at least provide a menu of choicesfrom which to select .


Whenever possible, choose incentives that will promote mentoring and that will ALSO enhance personal and professional growth for the mentor.

The Range of Mentor Incentives

  • Money
    • A salary differential
    • A stipend
    • Advance on the salary schedule made possible because of mentoring experience
  • Professional Growth Credit
    • On certificate renewal
    • As required for contract renewal
    • As required for a promotion or to move up on the salary schedule

The Range of Mentor Support

  • Reduced Work Assignments or Released Time
    • To mentor
    • To do mentoring research for the program
    • To write about their mentring experience
    • To collaborate with peers on support of the proteges or other collaborative projects
    • To receive training during work hours
  • Professional Growth Opportunities
    • Supported to present at mentoring conferences and meetings
    • Payment given to reimburse conference fees
    • Priority given to attend conferences or training events not all may be able to attend
    • Priority for work assignments
    • Tuition reimbursement to support getting an advanced degree needed for promotion

The Range of Mentor Recognition Strategies

  • Events
    • A mentor recognition banquet
    • A formal thank you from the Board of Directors or executives
    • A thank you from their manager at a department meeting
  • Expressions of Appreciation
    • Official thank you letters in individual’s personnel file
    • Thanks in the organization’s newsletters and web site
    • A open letter to the community in the local newspaper thanking the mentors
  • Gifts to Express Appreciation
    • A mentor pin
    • Coffee mug with symbol or program name or name of mentor
    • Small symbolic gift. Inscribe it with a suitable “thanks”engraved on it , such as:
      • a desk clock with, “Thanks for devoting your TIME to others”
      • small desk-top decorative globe with, “Thanks, your help means the WORLD to others”
      • photograph about the power of collaboration with, “Thanks for believing in the power of collaboration”.
    • Mentoring business cards
  • Other
    • Priority given to mentors for budget support for special project requests
    • Use of personal days when desired (ie. just before or just after a holiday)