So you have accepted an offer for the role you have applied for, it’s the company of your dreams and the team fit feels just right. All you need to do now is hold that awkward conversation with your current employer and tell them you are leaving. Easy!
You do everything within your character, as you have always been recognised as a loyal and trusted member of the team so you continue in that fashion by offering to stay late to finish projects, help train the new person coming in to replace you. You expect your boss to understand your aspirations and let you go without any qualms, right?…WRONG!
Out of the blue, you’re called into a meeting and those words you were not expecting to hear, are uttered in your direction, “We’d like you to stay, so I am going to make a counter offer”.
Generally, a counter offer includes, a salary increase, more holiday and extra benefits, and absolutely, that all initially seems fantastic. It’s flattering to be offered these extras and it quickly allows thoughts of that one week holiday to Benidorm to fade away, instantly being replaced by a two week all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean.
However, once you come back down to earth, reality hits and you realise perhaps your boss has an ulterior motive? Is it just cheaper to pay you a little extra than it is to recruit a replacement and train them to be as good as you? Maybe they want to buy some time before they plan on restructuring, without you!
In some instances, accepting a counter offer may be a good idea, but before you say yes please consider the following reasons as to why you should decline it and focus on your new opportunity…
Why did it take for me to hand in my notice to be offered a pay rise? The most popular way of countering an offer for a member of staff is to offer them a pay rise. Now ask yourself, why did it take for me to hand in my resignation to then become more valuable? I have been doing my job to the best of my ability day after day so it’s a little strange why I’m offered more now.
Will things really change? You were clearly looking for a new opportunity regardless of your aspirations. You have gone to lengths to impress future employers and showed a desire to impress at interview stage. It must have felt right to have accepted that new job offer. Will the salary increase really eradicate those ‘if only’ feelings, and remember… Whatever it was that turned you off your current role to make you go looking for a new one, won’t go away. Those feelings will be back!
Trust! So let’s say, you accept your bosses counter offer, you take on that new responsibility, you enjoy the extra income and holiday allowance but do you honestly think that will last forever? Let’s face it, in time emotions will change and new feelings will set in, you will sense resentment in the air, suspicion, distrust. These are all emotions familiar to bosses who have made counter offers. And what if co-workers find out you have received a raise? The chances are you will be removed to the fringes of that inner circle if they know you received new benefits and they haven’t.
Job security will diminish – Nowadays, ‘redundancy’ is a word that is uttered more than ever in the workplace. Despite the fact you have been paid to stay on, the chances are high that you will come near the top of the list when it’s time to reviewing staff numbers. Remember, your boss most likely kept you for his benefit, not yours.
But I’ve already accepted a job offer. We’re focusing so much on your current boss, but what about that future boss, the one who has shown belief in your ability, classes you as valuable individual. They’re excited to bring you on board and have made plans for your induction to set you up to succeed. Compare that to your current employer, begrudgingly paying you more money to keep you in your job. I know where I would rather be.
I’m going to leave anyway! This may confirm your thoughts, four from five employees who accept counter offers end up leaving the company within nine months.
So my message to anyone experiencing a counter offer… please think long term, and ensure you see beyond the initial increase in benefits that are potentially going to be offered.
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