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Should I accept a counter offer?

31/10/2017
Posted by: Whitney Griffiths

You’ve landed yourself a new job, plucked up the courage and handed in your resignation, and you’re busy planning out your career at your new company. Then your employer takes you aside, expresses their reluctance to see you go and offers you more salary and additional benefits. In an environment of skills shortages, counter offers are commonplace, but should you accept it if offered?

Why did you resign in the first place?

While the thought of your company really wanting you to stay with them might appear flattering, take a moment to consider why you are in this position in the first place.  You made the decision to apply for new job and it stands to reason that there was a sound reason to do so. Perhaps it was because you felt your achievements weren’t being recognised or that there wasn’t the career progression opportunities available to you. So while it might initially seem fantastic that you have received a counter offer, you decided to leave and regardless of what you have been offered, your reasons for doing so still stand.

A question of loyalty

Another important point to consider is what your resignation tells your employer about your commitment to the company. While you might have been the perfect employee, the moment you hand your resignation in your loyalty will always be in question.  So if you’re considering accepting a counter offer think carefully about how you will be perceived at the company afterwards. While you might think that, by enticing you to stay, your boss obviously deems you too valuable to lose, the fact remains that they will look at you in a different way – it’s purely human nature to do so.  And this can have negative connotations for your future at the business if you do decide to stay put.

Is it just a stop gap?

Another complex issue surrounding counter offers is that you don’t know what it going on behind the scenes and the real reason your employer is asking you to stay.  If your company is experiencing heavy workloads, for example, and doesn’t have ample people waiting in the wings to fill your role, it could very well be that they are viewing the counter offer as a way to plug the gap until a replacement can be found.  And this feeling can be incredibly negative for you and the company – a situation soon arises where your employer is questioning your loyalty to the business and you are consumed with the fear that you might soon be replaced. 

Think long and hard before you make the decision

While being offered more money or benefits can initially seem very appealing, our experience shows us that it can lead to a feeling of unease for both employer and employee alike. It’s really important to weigh up the pros and cons before you make a move.  If you decide to proceed with your new job, ensure you thank your boss for the offer and reassure them that you will be committed to your role during your notice period. And if you decide to take up the counter offer, bear in mind that you will probably have to work hard to win back your employer’s trust.

Call the team today for information about how Clayton Legal can assist your firm with recruitment and retention strategies. And for more insights from the team take a look at our other blogs and resources.

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