Employees leave their jobs for a variety of reasons: long working hours, management issues, company re-structuring, job discontentment, etc.
Although the reason(s) varies from person to person, one thing remains pretty consistent and predictable – the anticipated counteroffer. At first glance, the pay bump may seem attractive and enticing. However, there is one major red flag when employees accept counteroffers – the employee was ready to leave the organization and the only thing that kept them was a wage increase. Is that really sufficient to keep them onboard long-term? Does that change their “why”, their true motivation(s) for leaving?
There are many differing views on whether or not to accept counteroffers. But first, why do people take counteroffers?
Why Do People Take Counteroffers?
People accept counteroffers because it's simply easier. You are not required to relocate and adjust to a new workplace. You aren’t the newest kid on the block surrounded by many new faces. You don’t have to prove yourself and what you bring to the table. You'll be performing the same job you've always done at your employer for a higher salary if you stay.
Change can be intimidating when it's staring you in the face since we are creatures of habit. Why would you want to change jobs if you can stay with what you know and avoid the probable, some might say, inevitable stress of doing so?
According to research though, 90 percent of employees who accept a counteroffer depart after one year. What does this actually tell us? Is the pay bump really sufficient? Perhaps this demonstrates that money isn't always enough to solve the problems that drove you to seek a new career in the first place.
Disadvantages of Taking Counteroffers
The relationship between you and your employer can become strained
Accepting a counteroffer is likely to jeopardize your current employment connection. You've just told your employer you're quitting and are only staying because they promised you more money; this may lead them to doubt your commitment and whether you'll depart if a better offer comes along. Accepting a counteroffer causes most employees to feel "pushed out" of their existing company. Companies may even establish a contingency plan and begin looking for someone to cover your position before you can obtain a better offer.
You miss out on a new job opportunity
Something about your current employer, job outlook, or the job itself is causing you to be discontent. You’ve already decided that seeking out new employment is the better option for you at this point. So why stay with your current employer in exchange for a salary boost when alternatively, moving on to a new firm could propel your career forward? Or, improve your technical acumen by exposing you to new technologies? Or, provide an additional incentive you don’t already receive? Your new employer will provide you with new opportunities and new challenges at the very least, so you should take advantage of that! Settling for a counteroffer is not the wisest choice for your personal and professional growth.
You risk your contentment
Only 12% of employees leave for financial reasons. Chances are, you're seeking a new job for reasons other than money, and these reasons will not suddenly disappear just because your pay is now greater. Why did you wish to leave to begin with? You should carefully consider your original motives and whether the raise in compensation is sufficient to keep you pleased at your current job.
As a leading recruiting agency, The Denzel Group has seen employees accept and reject counteroffers. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but from what we’ve seen (and it’s been a lot!), those whom have rejected counteroffers have more success in the long-term.
Questioning what you should do? We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more insight on this topic.