3 Questions to Ask About a Counteroffer

In our previous blog post, we discussed the three ways in which your boss may react when you submit your resignation. Those ways could ultimately lead to a counteroffer.

For any employee, a counteroffer is a potentially troubling situation that requires very careful consideration. Of course, there is always a certain amount of risk involved in leaving your present job for a new one. But there are also serious risks associated with accepting a counteroffer from your current employer.

When you receive a counteroffer, you should take a step back and analyze the situation objectively and logically. In the process of doing that, you should ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Why haven’t I received this offer of compensation before now? There are reasons you made the decision to leave the company in the first place. One of them may very well involve compensation. The cold, hard reality is that well-managed companies simply do not make counteroffers. They make attractive compensation offers to valued employees following regularly scheduled reviews. (That, of course, is one of the reasons their turnover rate is so low.) If the
company truly acknowledged your value as an employee, they would already be providing you with the compensation they’re now trying to thrust upon you at the 11th hour.

2. Where, exactly, is this compensation coming from? This is a valid question because everyone would like to receive a raise on a regular basis. However, companies have wage and salary guidelines they must follow. Does accepting this counteroffer basically guarantee that you won’t be receiving a raise for a long time? Taken in that context, staying at the company hardly translates into a benefit for you, especially if other factors (culture, co-workers) were also behind
your decision to leave.

3. What will happen if I decide to stay? You must entertain the very real possibility that your co-workers might resent the fact you were given a raise or company perks. This could put you in a stressful situation with your colleagues, which will compromise your job performance.

There’s also another risk involved in accepting a counteroffer. You’ve already tendered your resignation and given your two weeks’ notice, which is basically an indication of your general unhappiness. If you stay, there’s a chance that management will regard you with a measure of suspicion, concluding that it’s only a matter of time before you eventually leave.

The numbers back up that conclusion. Statistics show that 72% of people who accept a counteroffer leave their employer within one year.

So be sure to ask yourself the three questions above and carefully consider the answers before making a decision regarding a counteroffer. Taking the time to do so could pay off in the long run in the form of greater career satisfaction.

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