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Counter Offers


So you've just accepted an offer for that job you've been chasing for months. You are excited and relieved, but you're wondering how your boss is going to react when you resign. Will the reaction be understanding? Angry? Shocked? or Dismissive? If you are a manager, how do you react when one of your best performers resigns?

Some of the more common thoughts that the boss may have are:

  • How am I supposed to replace them, keep the team together and achieve budget?
  • What inconvenient timing - I was about to go on annual leave for 3 weeks.
  • How am I going to look to the board/senior management for losing this person?
  • Where are they going?
  • Can I get them to stay until I find a replacement and have an effective hand over?
  • How can I get them to stay?

If you are a valuable resource, then your boss and your company won't want to see you walk out the door, especially to the competition. They will make every attempt to convince you to stay, either by:

  • Making you a counter offer.
  • Making you feel incredibly guilty and disloyal.
  • 'Loving' you liked they've never 'loved' you before - be suspicious of this.

Though an offer is good for your ego, you must consider a number of things before saying 'Yes'.

Why did you look for another Job?

You have only received a counter offer because you have resigned. The offer is only a purely reactive tactic from your employer and you should consider why it took you to resign to improve your situation. If your employer appreciated you, why didn't they offer this previously? 

Do your reasons for wanting to leave still exist?

You may have a number of reasons - salary too low, no promotion in sight, you don't like your boss. You may be offered more money to stay, which can be tempting, but you still have other issues outstanding, you'll probably end up leaving anyway.

Are you now considered more of a risk?

Despite what your employer is saying to you, they will probably now consider you a risk and may contingency plans without your knowledge. You may not be seen as a true member of the team.

Is this a short-term tactic?

The counter offer could simply be an interim tactic from your employer to bridge a gap whilst they look to replace you. 

Most people leave anyway

Many surveys have been completed over the years to measure what happens to employees who accept counter offers. Only 6 put of 100 employees are still with their company after 12 months, and 2 important points become apparent:

  • Salary was hardly ever the prime motivator for resigning more money didn't ultimately change the true state of play.
  • Things don't take long to return to the way they were before the resignation.

Before accepting a counter offer, ask yourself why your employer has made the offer. There is a strong possibility that the cons will outweigh the pros and you will realise that your decision to resign was right after all.

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