At last the moment has come. You have just received a written offer for your dream job. A job that is a step up with a real career path, greater remuneration and new challenges. It may be with some trepidation you meet with your manager to break the news – you are resigning.
The response is not what you expected. Your manager tells you what a valued employee you are, a high potential with a wonderful future in the company. Your manager then offers you a significant pay rise to stay. What should you do?
Let’s first explore why counter offers occur in the first place.
Counter offers may well have been a godsend in years gone by, but today more than ever, sophisticated HR functions view them with high scepticism and a low payoff activity that only serves to compromise the longer term HR strategies.
Remind yourself what your drivers were to search for a new role in the first place.
When discussing whether counter offers feature in the toolkit of our clients, the general consensus is that the need for counter offers has diminished dramatically with inverse correlation to the sophistication of HR practices. Key HR interventions should drive improved communication with employees regarding their career development and the alignment and successful communication of the employee value proposition. This should diminish the need for (and arguably the success of) counter offers – if an employee understands exactly where they stand at any point, then there will likely be no ‘offer’ that can be thrown up to them that will be successful at retaining them.
So why did you receive a counter offer? Most likely, it is not because you’ve suddenly become a more valuable employee. It is more likely your manager doesn’t want to deal with the work disruption your departure could create.
Be prepared to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.
In these situations it is critical to take a long term view. Remind yourself what your drivers were to search for a new role in the first place. An increase in salary may resolve short term frustrations, but will it impact on your motivation? Will accepting a counter offer resolve a lack of challenge or cultural issues? Will you be back in the market for a new job within 3, 6 or 12 months?
It is important to keep looking forward and embrace new opportunities that are aligned to your career goals. Be prepared to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.
Most importantly, take a leap of faith and drive your own career path.