Good, Bad and Worse of a Counter Offer !

You are desperately looking out for a job. Your recruitment consultant understands your need and manages to get you through an interview process. Luckily, you get through the interview, and you are offered a handsome package. As you place your resignation your current employer comes with a counter offer, seemly more lucrative than the one from the new company. What would be your take on this? Resign anyhow and join the new organization or stay back accepting the revised package?

True to your word if you go ahead and join the new company, all goes well and you have what you had expected. Instead, however, if you take up the counter offer you should definitely think over twice

Whether to take a counter offer or decline it is your choice. You are the one who knows what you want in the long run. But when you make a decision be rational and check the pros and cons of the counter offer. Know the Good, Bad and Worse of a Counter Offer !

Loss of Time, Money and Integrity

Once you accept an offer, a company arranges and awaits you to join them apart from the money and time spent during the entire interview process. If on the day of your joining you do not show up at all or inform at the eleventh hour that you have accepted a counter offer, a lot is at stake. The months of hard work the recruitment firm had spent in placing you go for a toss. Not just that both the company and the consultants have to pay for the loss, it creates an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation. Finally, integrity matters and not being able to keep up to your words only build up a negative impact forever among those around you.

Evaluate Thoroughly Your Reason and Decision For Career Move

There could be a myriad of reasons when you quit a company for another. You could feel underpaid, over worked, the company timings or the work culture may not suit you, your relationship with your boss or colleagues may be sour and the list can go on. The job move decision should not oscillate only around "percentage of SALARY HIKE" . Your decision is going to impact your future, then think over it . Align your reason of career move with your objectives , remember your ambition, passion & dream.

Keep the main reasons in mind as you view that counter offer in your hand.

The Ugly Side of a Counter Offer

Once you confront your employer with your resignation, your relationship quotient changes forever. Even if you stay back with the counter offer, thenceforth there are chances that either your employer will view you as a betrayer or will hold a grudge for having made to raise your package.

Apart from your employer, the mindset of people around mostly change and you can be the magnet drawing all blames for even the minute issues or problems at office. You could even be blamed as more employees follow suit and look for jobs or hikes. In fact, there could be an unpleasant aura of envy among co-workers who could not procure an offer like you did. Hence, the productivity among employees tends to deteriorate along with the relationships.

Per chance you take a sick leave, everyone is likely to assume you are up for another interview. The trust and security level diminishes as does the chances for the next promotion or training program.

Expectations of the management are also prone to grow owing to the offer they made. However, it is not always possible to keep up to such high expectations, which can further strain relationships.

At times a counter offer is given, so that the employer can buy time to find the right match as your replacement. Once they get someone, your job could be at stake. Further, a counter offer could be the employer’s need to keep you till a particular project is over. Then it is the employer who will axe you.

Further, money takes over a stronger position than your career graph when it comes to counter offers. Definitely, money cannot be the only factor to stay back if you think in long terms, which would include your future training and promotions. If you are being compensated monetarily and you have no idea about the employer’s future plans about you, you may lose out on a good opportunity. Besides, if the reasons for going into the job market are unsuitable working hours or work culture, strained relationship with your boss or the like surely accepting the counter offer will make no sense.

Statistics reveal that most employees leave within 12 months of a counter offer. They either realize that their intentions to leave had more to do than mere money, or the environment does not remain the same for them to continue working.

The Other Side of a Counter Offer

Counter offers are not always a path to problems. Definitely, it has a brighter side and can lead to increased productivity.

A very good reputation and a bonding with the management can only be the best situation for you to accept a counter offer. Sometimes companies genuinely accept the fact that you need to get a hike. They may even feel that they have been lacking behind in giving you better responsibilities or focusing on your career plan. This proves that you are an asset to the company.

Further, if money is the sole reason for job change then a counter offer could be a good option since you are comfortable with all other factors.

Always discuss the offer and your intentions to leave an organization before you accept the new offer. This will save time and no one is put in an awkward situation at the end.

A Few Things to Remember

It is indeed, a responsibility of managers to perform periodic reviews and check where employees are dissatisfied, who needs better challenges and if they are being paid up to market standards. This will keep uncomfortable situations like counter offers from arising at all.

Often employees threaten to leave to leverage the situation and get a better package. Playing with offers, using it as a bait to get a good counter offer or putting one company against another is a rather bad idea. Many companies are, in fact, completely against counter offers.

When you get a counter offer, remember that the new employer valued what you had to get to their table. But what you are offered in the present organization is not out of the employer’s choice but because you left him with no other choice. Had he seen your potential he would have come up with an offer even before you thought of floating your resume in the market.

At the end, if you decide to leave stay firm to your decision even if the counter offer may seem good enough. Appreciate the offer and leave amicably with a good note.

Companies go to various lengths to retain their employees these days. Be it flexi working hours, working remotely, offering better roles to dream projects – you can have it all provided you stay put. But hold on! Where does this lead to? Remember the reasons that compelled you to put your foot down?

Further, even if you are an asset to the company, the company has its own motives and may not always have your best interest in view. Food for thought !

We invite your opnion on Encounter-The-Counter-Offer


By Sarla Sharma

Pioneer Management Consultant Pvt Ltd

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