A counter offer is an offer from your employer in competition with the one you have received from your future employer.
Counter offers can be presented in a number of ways, such as a salary increase, promotion, career progression, opportunity to earn a bonus or other incentives/benefits.
Often, they add a layer of complication that leaves you wondering that maybe you do owe something to your current employer, and that maybe things will improve if you stay.
Research (and from our personal experience) reveals that most people who accept a counter offer are likely to seek new employment or leave their job within 12 months, and many are actually gone within 6 months.
Here are six major problems you’ll likely run into if you accept a counter offer from your current boss:
It’s rare that being underpaid or getting that promotion is the only reason for leaving a job. For most people, it’s a combination of factors that’s behind their search for greener pastures.
What this means is, even if you get that pay rise or promotion, the other important factors that compelled you to leave in the first place (such as the company culture or difficult colleagues) remain. And - worse still - they often get even more challenging after you accept the counter offer.
If it need you to resign for your employer to consider your concerns, they may not have your best interest at heart. Good employers don’t make counter offers – they’re proactive in keeping good staff.
Note that this hinges on you doing your part and being open and honest about your concerns and suggesting a solution - before you start your job search!
Consider where the counter offer is coming from – are you just getting your next pay rise or promotion in advance? Will you have to threaten to resign every time you deserve a pay rise or promotion?
Apart from losing the considerable knowledge you have, the actual time and effort to rehire will be a big factor in wanting to keep you. Advertising costs, a potential recruitment fee, the time taken by senior management to conduct multiple interviews and then the many months training and getting that person up to speed (with the knock-on effect of lost productivity), all mounts up to far beyond any $ amount they will give you to stay. They will likely offer anything to keep you because it saves them a lot of money.
If you do accept a counter offer, your boss will likely now question your loyalty and view you as a flight risk. There’s a good chance they’ve made the offer just to stall for time so that they can get a succession plan in place. It also will potentially leave you vulnerable to being passed over for the juiciest projects or future promotions.
It’s amazing how quickly this kind of thing gets out. Your boss now looking at you unfavourably aside, when your colleagues discover you wrangled a pay rise by threatening to resign, don’t be surprised if they view your tactics as unfair.
If you’ve done your research and you know you deserve a pay rise, or you’d like any other change at work, you owe it to yourself and your employer to ask for it directly, before you start your job search. If things go well and you come to a mutual agreement, great. If not, then accepting a counter offer is likely only going to make you miserable somewhere down the line. Back yourself and your decision, hold your head high, and resign with grace! 😊