How to Handle Counter Offers
It is very common for employees who accept counter offers not to complete the following year with their employer. Thus, do not even consider a counteroffer. It is natural instinct to resist change and avoid disruption, and your present employer may try to maintain the status quo by trying to convince you to stay. Emotions for everyone can run high when a resignation is received and promises from your current employer may be made that are unrealistic. A natural fear of change or pressure from the company could make you do something you should not do. You must keep the value of your integrity and reputation in this situation.
Forms of a Counter Offer
- “We have specific plans for you that have been scheduled for implementation for the first of next month. It’s my fault for not telling you sooner.”
- “I want to tell you some confidential information. There is a reorganization developing that means a significant promotion for you in a few months.”
- “We want to match your new offer. This raise was scheduled to go into effect for you the first of next quarter anyway, but because of your record, we can start it on the first of next month.”
- “The Plant Manager would like to have dinner with you tonight before your final decision.”
However, never accept a counter offer. The following section explains why.
Implications of a Counter Offer
A counter offer can be very flattering, but it may cause emotions to obscure your objectivity to leave your present employer. If you are confronted with a counter offer, ask yourself these questions:
- If I made a decision to resign because I felt another environment would better fill my career needs, will the factors that prompted me to leave my present company really improve just because I said I was leaving?
- If I decide to stay, will my loyalty be questioned and affect my chance for advancement in the future? Will it affect that I am a team player in my peer group? What happens to my reputation?
- If my loyalty is questioned, would I be an early layoff when business slows down?
- If they offer me a raise to stay, is it just my annual raise coming early?
- If the raise they offered to keep me is above their guidelines for my job, does that mean that they are just buying time until they can find my replacement within their regular salary range? Are they using me to keep the position staffed until my manager hires someone else?
- If I got this counter offer just because I resigned, will I have to threaten to leave every time I want to advance with the company?