Picture this: you’ve handed in your notice, ready for a new work-life adventure. The following day, your employer surprises you with an offer you can’t refuse – a pay rise or promotion. It’s flattering, it’s tempting, but is it the right move? To help you make an informed decision, let’s look at how to handle a counter offer and whether they’re worth a second thought.
What is a Counter Offer?
A counter-offer is an employer’s tempting proposal to retain an employee on the verge of leaving. Their proposition does two things: it says “no” to the original offer and suggests a new deal. When you counteroffer, the initial offer becomes invalid, and you can’t accept it anymore.
So as a UK employee, if you accept a counter-offer with new terms and conditions, the initial contract you signed may become invalid. When you agree to the new deal, it usually replaces the original terms, and you will be bound by the new terms going forward. It’s important to carefully review and understand the new terms before making a decision.
So while it may sound tempting and make you feel valued, you shouldn’t let your emotions cloud your judgment. The offer is not about you; it’s about the organisation’s bottom line.
Replacing you is about more than just salary. Rehiring and retraining is a costly process, then there’s advertising and administration fees to boot. Especially in today’s IT and Digital landscape, skills shortages make it hard to replace talented tech professionals. Without them, business progress stagnates, causing financial setbacks.
Behind the Mind Games
After deciding to leave, doubt can creep in – a psychological phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance. It’s overwhelming, coupled with the anxiety of a new job. The allure of staying seems strong, but think twice.
The Pros and Cons
Before you accept or reject, let’s break down the pros and cons of accepting a counter-offer. Employers might urge you to stay, but try not to let it go to your head. Making a hasty decision about staying in your current role now could harm your long-term future.
Your Reason for Leaving
Reconsider why you wanted to leave. If your reason persists – like a stressful commute – money won’t solve it. An increased salary won’t help you magically escape traffic unless relocating is part of the deal.
Accepting a counter offer might make your employer question your loyalty. Although the company made you the proposal, management might hesitate to invest in your growth if they doubt your commitment.
The news that you’re staying because of a raise might spread like wildfire. Colleagues might resent you and doubt your trustworthiness, affecting office dynamics.
Follow the Money
If your organisation had the money for a raise, why only agree to pay you what you’re worth now? Question where the sudden generosity comes from and the motive behind it.
Beware of a new job title – is it a genuine promotion or a smokescreen for delay? Don’t make yourself expendable.
Your Reputation Matters
Any recruiters involved in the process no doubt worked hard to help you get your new position. Backing out of the deal could tarnish your professional reputation with them. The repercussions might affect your career later down the line.
The Stats Don’t Lie
Consider this: 50% of leavers get tempting counter-offers, but only 50% stay past a year. Senior executives know it damages careers, but that’s not their concern.
The Pros of Accepting a Counter Offer?
There aren’t any fundamental plus points to accepting this kind of proposal from your existing employer. Sure, you get to stay in your comfort zone for a while. Although, how comfortable would that feel given the above?
Navigating Counter-Offers: Your Action Plan
Are you ready to conquer that counter-offer conundrum? Check out these steps for a clear path to the route that’s right for you:
Almost all employers will try to persuade employees to stay upon handing in their notice. Preparing to have this conversation will help you approach it with a clear head. Of course, you don’t know until you get there what their offer will be. Once you know what it is, at least you can ask for time to think.
Make a List
Get practical. Jot down what each opportunity brings. Sometimes, what’s a pro in one might be a con in the other.
Take Your Time
This is a life-altering choice. Ask for time to think to give yourself a breather. Scrutinize every angle, ponder your future, debate the pros and cons, and make an informed move.
Chat with Your Line Manager
Ask for an open discussion with your boss about your potential within the company. Gauge your true value and whether the counter-offer reflects it or is just a quick fix.
When an employer makes such an offer, it can make you feel valued. It can also put you under pressure and leave you feeling stressed out. One of the great things about applying for jobs through a reputable recruitment agency is that they can coach you through situations like this.
If you’re going it alone, we strongly recommend pausing before succumbing to the allure. Ask if the offer truly addresses your reasons for leaving your job. Keep in mind your decision to leave leaves a mark. Staying may close the door to future promotions or security.
Ultimately, if a hard-earned job offer beckons, it’s often wiser to look ahead. Counter-offers rarely fix any problems that made you seek to change.
Share the Wisdom
If you found this valuable, share it on social media. Let others benefit from this perspective on counter-offers.