Impact Unleashed:
Member and Customer Success Stories
Holly Mertens
Manager, Total Rewards

WorldatWork Member Since: May 2017

Holly Mertens' Total Rewards journey began with her first job after college in 2013. Today, she manages Total Rewards for a Denver-based oil and gas software company of 500 employees.

Driving Change for People and the Profession

“This field has allowed me to create positive organizational change and put in place innovative programs,” says Holly. For a decade, she has worked on numerous global benefits programs like group health coverage, wellness programs, and retirement savings plans, and managed and developed compensation program design, analysis, and implementations. She feels like she’s making a difference.

“I was drawn to the opportunity to help others grow personally and professionally and find fulfillment in their work. I love having the ability to create a positive work environment while driving change every day, big or small.” That drive put her on the path to becoming President of the Rocky Mountain Total Rewards Association (RMTRA) in Denver.

But leaders aren’t created in isolation. Holly wanted to become no less than an industry expert in Total Rewards. “My goals are to really cultivate my skills and earn unparalleled experience in this field.”

That goal brought her to WorldatWork in 2017. “I first learned about the organization from a previous manager. My interest was sparked when I found out WorldatWork offers education and research focused on global human resources issues — such as compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated Total Rewards — and has been doing it for more than 65 years — I wanted to learn more!”

Membership has proved essential to Holly. “There are so many challenges that erupt in Total Rewards, specifically with the ever-changing compliance and regulatory legislation. You have to act swiftly to change the way you operate in certain situations.” She is preparing for the challenge by pursuing WorldatWork’s Certified Compensation Professional (CCP®) certification, which helps her face the fast-paced daily challenges while reinforcing her love for the profession. “There are so many aspects of Total Rewards that I enjoy. Each workday is different, so what we do stays engaging and exciting. I enjoy having the ability to oversee opportunities and create solutions that help guide others and further develop their skills.”

And, she adds, “The people are what make this field so special.”

Those connections are what draw Holly to WorldatWork events and other networking opportunities. “After connecting with people who share the same passion in Total Rewards, I feel energized and ready to bring all the ideas people have shared back to my organization so I can make it a better place to work.”

There’s never been a better time to join a professional community like WorldatWork, Holly believes. “The past couple of years have been challenging, especially in Total Rewards, due to COVID-19. The way we operate has changed and we now look to one another for advice, ideas and support on how to advance and elevate our profession.”

Holly also advises those new to the Total Rewards profession and looking for a place to start to act locally. “WorldatWork collaborates with more than 40 local HR associations that provide local insights and educational opportunities for members. You can get involved in your community and equip yourself with the skills and the distinction you need to be an effective Total Rewards leader.”