When a valued employee gives notice, employers may respond with a counteroffer. What would you do if offered a promotion, raise, equity, and accommodations to your work schedule? In other words, everything you asked for—if you stay on? Let’s face it, counteroffers are flattering, tempting and, at least momentarily, distracting. While some companies have a no counteroffer policy, more management teams may resort to them given the 1% tech unemployment rate. We believe counteroffers are the “Trojan Horse” of employee retention strategies, as they perform the innocuous function of keeping an employee happy while unleashing a whole host of other problems.
Al Pacino’s character in Carlito’s Way said it best, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
So how do you respond? It ‘s important to realize that when your manager presents you with a counteroffer, much more is at stake. The intention to leave often alters employer trust and transforms the workplace environment. Furthermore, your employer may not have your best interests at heart, only keeping you on long enough to buy time for a replacement.
Nevertheless, as long as there’s a talent shortage and the cost of backfilling eats up valuable resources, counteroffers will continue to pop up. As professional recruiters who broker job offers for a living, we’re particularly attuned to the high emotions at play around a counteroffer. How you feel will sway your perspective, which will change every day, if not every minute. It’s important you make an informed decision by asking yourself the right questions.
There are fundamental issues that cannot be resolved
Like many life decisions, it is absolutely paramount that your choice in occupation makes you happy. Therefore, when deciding between two jobs, it is important to assess your satisfaction with both in order to come to the right conclusion. Here are some guiding questions to help you gauge where you stand on each job:
Don’t forget to weigh these answers with other considerations taken from the previous two sections. If the counteroffer turns out to be your best option, be sure to clearly express your satisfaction to your employer. It could go a long way in repairing your workplace dynamics and make your counteroffer a successful one.
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