Counter offers

When you hand in your resignation you may be offered an improved package by your existing employer to tempt you to stay. Without even looking at the relative merits of an offer or the counter offer it is a scary statistic that 80% of people who have accepted a counter offer will not be at their current employer in six months and 93% will not be there in eighteen months' time. This is because they will have subsequently realised why they were leaving in the first place and resigned again chosen to move or worse still been moved on by their current employer.

Changing jobs is always stressful and involves moving into a culture where you are unproven and often away from a comfortable environment where you have established friends and a good reputation. Securing a new job has taken time, effort and hard work from you. Don't lose sight of why you were willing to make the change! Most people do not change jobs just to get more money. You need to consider the reasons you wanted to change in the first place and ask yourself whether more money will make any difference to this.

If you were unhappy because you did not feel challenged, or you didn't get on with your boss, or didn't like the product or company culture, or the travelling was too far or the hours were too long, is more money going to change this and will you be any happier in a few months time or still have the same problems?

Often when employees are offered more money to stay, the employer knowing you are basically unhappy, will be buying time to find a replacement for you and you will find yourself out of a job in a few weeks or months anyway. Have a real think about what you want from your career and think about the following...

Counter offer: Increased salary
Where is this coming from? Will you have a reduced pay rise next time around? If so, what are your options in the future; threaten to leave again? This will be less of a threat the second time around and they may have already employed someone else for this contingency. Why was your pay rise not offered earlier, didn't the employer value you until now? Will the promised increase also be a lie? Offering short term increases is the easiest way to keep someone and takes no effort from the employer. It is an economic decision to save the immediate cost of recruiting a replacement. Salary often isn't the primary reason for leaving so why is it the primary reason to stay.

Counter offer: Promise of a promotion
Unless this is in writing, be worried! If your employer thought you should have been promoted they would have done so already. Will any promotion be a tactic to allow them to keep you in the short term until they can get someone at they want to promote without having to be threatened? Much like an increase in salary, if they didn't think you were worthy of a promotion before you resigned, do they think you're worth it now? How will it be viewed by your colleagues too?

Counter offer: Better quality of work
If they give you work from another staff member of the team to help you to stay, will this be permanent or a short term fix to their staffing problem?

Counter offer: Better management and team motivation
You would almost certainly have complained about these before being driven to look for a new job. Why haven't they been addressed before? Can they really be addressed in the long term or will this be a continued issue? Also, what knock on effect will there be to your internal relationships, not just with the people that you had a "problem" with, but by your wider employees and company friends.

It is also important to consider how your career will be affected if you choose to stay. Will you be regarded as someone who could resign again in the near future? You have demonstrated that you are no longer loyal to your employer - will other loyal employees be promoted, given better work, given bonuses ahead of you or will you just be outside the inner circle? How will your colleagues view you?

Counter offers aren't always a bad thing, but you should be weary as you may never be able to get that job you are turning down back if you choose to stay. Think carefully, and for an informal chat where we can offer help and advice, call one of our consultants.


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