Decoding the Counter Offer and How Smart Employees Handle Them
The big day is here.
You’ve decided to leave your job. You’ve lined up a new gig. You’re ready to announce your resignation to your boss. But as soon as you make your intentions clear, he/she tempts you with a counter offer—a pay raise, a shift in job responsibilities, or juicier benefits—as long as you stay on board.
This is an all-too-common scenario these days and gives many employees pause. However, it really shouldn’t. The allure of the counter offer can be hard to ignore, but in most cases, accepting a counter offer is making a deal with the devil that will fail to pay off in the long run.
Decoding the Counter Offer
Statistics on counter offers indicate that the vast majority of employees who accept them end up leaving their jobs anyway within six months to a year. And when you decode the subtext and meaning behind the average company’s counter offer, it’s not hard to see why.
Counter Offers Reflect (Your Lack Of) Value
A counter offer is meant to reflect the value you bring to an organization, but to put it bluntly, if you weren’t valuable enough to warrant a raise before, why would your boss give you a raise now? In truth, your boss isn’t offering a raise because he/she is afraid of losing your unique skillset—he/she simply doesn’t want to deal with the administrative burden of filling your vacant position.
When the costs of recruiting and training a new candidate are considered, padding your paycheck may be the path of least resistance. Because of this, a generous counter offer may actually indicate a lack of value: If your skills were truly valued, they would have offered the raise before you threatened to leave.
Counter Offers Don’t Solve Problems
Even if your boss does sweeten the pot with an offer of more perks or a higher salary, remember, there were reasons you wanted to leave in the first place, and unless those reasons were limited exclusively to these new perks, those problems will still be there. And more likely than not, if those problems were fixable, you would have made an attempt to do so before announcing your resignation.
Counter Offers Come With Strings
Every counter offer comes with strings attached. In a sense, you’ve already broken your boss’s trust by resigning. While it’s perfectly within your right to seek new work, you can’t blame your boss for how he/she perceives you now that you’ve announced your intention to leave the tribe.
Because of this, even if things return to status quo when you head back to your old position, you’ll be marked by management as a risky case. They may not fully trust your commitment to the company and could begin headhunting new candidates who they perceive to be more reliable. Plus, the trust you’ve built with your coworkers may be damaged by your intention to jump ship.
Counter Offers Burn Bridges
And of course, if you bail on your new opportunity before your first day, you’ll lose face with the organization that you worked so hard to impress during your interview. In this way, you’re burning your bridge with that organization and potentially others in the industry.
In Business, Go With Your Gut
If you’ve decided to leave your organization and have put the work in to find a new opportunity, don’t be seduced by a last-minute counter offer. They’re never as good as they seem, and as described above, may expose you to a world of hurt that can be avoided by sticking with your new (and more exciting!) position.
Contact Urgenci and let us help you connect with the candidates who are the ideal fit for your organization—and who you’ll never have to tempt with last-minute counter offers to keep on board.