It is very common for employees to be offered a counter-offer when handing in their notice. They normally come in the form of an increase in salary, a department change, or an immediate promotion.
While this may be tempting, accepting a counter-offer may be more negative than positive in the long run. Unless the new offer was your desired outcome, there are a number of things to consider when reviewing your next steps should you be enticed by the counter-offer.
Let us take you through some of these considerations.
Should you accept a counter-offer?
Counter-offers are made all the time. They can be a way to seal a deal, or they can be a way for one party to try and get more from the other. There are pros and cons to accepting a counter-offer, so it's important to weigh them both before deciding whether or not to take it.
But the fundamental question still remains: should one accept a counter-offer? Or should one reject it however enticing the offer is? Throughout this blog, you’ll discover that our suggestions lean towards the latter.
An underlying issue isn't resolved by a counter-offer.
Counter offers are a negotiation tactic. While counter-offers commonly happen in a sales setting, this type of offer also occurs in a work setting such as employment.
Employers aren't always ready to lose another employee, especially for key positions on C-level and managerial positions.
Conducting constant interviews for potential candidates isn’t prioritised. Hence, when someone from these levels leave, the company scrambles to get a replacement, and in most cases, they would use a counter-offer to prevent the employee from leaving.
Counter-offers come in the form of promotions, salary increases, cross-department movements or something similar. If you accept the offer, you might think that you have addressed the very reason why you’re leaving in the first place or you have done a great favour to the company and everybody will leave the HR room happy.
Ask yourself, are you leaving because your salary has stagnated and previous attempts to negotiate your salary didn’t materialise? Is it because of poor management, or a supervisor not supporting your growth and professional development?
Remember that you are leaving for a reason and oftentimes it’s not always about the money.
Your job does not serve your long-term career goal.
Counter-offers can help you advance in your career, but they come with risks. Keep in mind that you are leaving due to a specific reason(s). Based on our experience, people leave jobs due to a wide range of factors that are not always specifically related to money.
This can come in the form of employees not feeling like their managers or supervisors are supporting their continuous development and growth as a professional.
When people stagnate on the professional ladder, they get agitated and tend to look elsewhere if they cannot find this support from the company that they currently work for.
Whatever the reason(s) for initially considering a new job, be that a lack of career progression, or being unfairly treated, it is crucial to bear these in mind when faced with a counter-offer.
Loyalty may be questioned after accepting a counter-offer and can possibly damage the relationship.
The act of threatening to resign leaves a bad taste in the employer’s mouth. The trust that was built for a long time during your time in a company may be subject to scrutiny where your employer might have difficulty reconciling the idea of you staying loyal, lest, you might leave at a moment's notice.
This potential lack of trust can add weight to your career and has the ability to stall your professional progress for the immediate future with the company. While this may not take place, or you restore your relationship with the company or manager over time, this time could have been used to progress further in a new job should you have pursued quitting.
You are resigning because of the value of new opportunities.
Counter offers are shiny objects that are hard not to notice so don’t feel bad for not even thinking twice when you already made the decision to leave at the outset. Remember that you are leaving for a reason and this reason is that you have found better opportunities outside your workplace.
When you resign from your job, you are giving up the opportunity to make more money from that company. But there are almost always other opportunities out there that offer more value. And what if you could still make the same amount of money but have more flexibility and control over your schedule? That's where counter-offers come in.
Counter-offers are made when an employer sees that someone is moving on from their job and they want to offer them a new opportunity that is better suited for their skills and experience. Often that is a higher salary or better career opportunity within the company simply because you are harder to replace. Keep in mind that counter-offers are more likely to occur when someone is harder to replace - people who have unique skills, experience, and attitudes that are more difficult to find in the general workforce.
Counter-offers can be attractive because they give you a chance to continue making a salary from the same business while also having more control over your work schedule and workload and enjoying other perks that you do not enjoy from the current post you’re in.
The downside is that you should only accept a counter-offer if it's significantly better than the current position you wish to move on from. And even then, make sure that you're comfortable with the new situation before signing on the dotted line.
Accepting counter-offer will not guarantee job satisfaction.
Accepting a counter-offer will not necessarily guarantee that you will be satisfied with the revised or new position. If there are aspects of the jobs that made you submit your notice in the beginning, accepting the counter-offer rarely resolves all of these issues.
Recognise the fact the only thing that has changed is probably your salary or your responsibilities - but not the people or the current situation the company is in. This will strongly depend on the reasons for leaving. In most cases, we have seen a single issue can normally be resolved without going to the lengths of possibly leaving the job, whereas multiple issues are less likely to be fixed by staying with the same company.
Counter-offers can create great opportunities for employees seeking change within their roles. Although as noted above, we advise anyone making that decision to consider some of the points outlined in this blog.
We have seen people succeed upon accepting a counter-offer but there are certainly a wide variety of factors to consider within that process, so make sure you take the time to examine all available options and the possible outcomes that come with each one.