Counter offer Ellis Fox Blog

Is a counter offer worth it?

One of your top people resigns and you feel you really can’t afford to lose them, so you do what’s logical, offer them more pay, more benefits, anything to get them to stay. In all honesty, you’re wasting your time. Here are 3 reasons why counteroffers rarely work:

  1. It’s not all about money

While people generally earn more when taking on a new job, money is seldom the reason that they’re moving. In my experience there are usually several other factors at play. It could be the job, either they’re bored with doing the same thing they’ve done for years, or the workload is simply excessive and they’re tired of working themselves to the bone. Could be there is someone that they find really difficult to work with, a nasty boss, an uncooperative team member. Or it could be a combination of all these factors. Offering more money won’t make the other factors magically disappear.

  1. Promises and change

As much as bosses like to make promises that things will change, the reality is that they rarely do. If it’s a cultural issue, like being frustrated by company policies and procedures, these take time and a great deal of effort to change and the employee knows this. Rather accept that the person wants to move on. As an employer you then have the opportunity to find someone new who will be a better cultural fit.

  1. You can’t make them love you

An employee that’s always looking for outside opportunities isn’t going to be your first choice for a promotion now are they? This is a lesson to employees, don’t resign just to get a counteroffer just because you didn’t get the pay raise you wanted. Besides employers should rather be investing in people who show commitment, and if they don’t, you can’t make them love you by offering them more money.

Realistically, no matter how much you don’t want to lose that person, if they have gone as far as to securing another job, they’ve pretty much already made the decision to leave. Think about it. They’ve prepared a CV, made several submissions, maybe gone for several interviews and finally accepted something that they think will be the best move for their career. And part of that was deciding that staying where they were was not what they wanted. Let them go, and be gracious about it, you never know when you may be working with them again in the industry.