Most of us have experienced it at some point – you ask for a well-deserved pay rise or promotion, only to be told it’s not possible. You’re left feeling undervalued and underappreciated, so you find a job elsewhere and hand in your notice. As if by magic, your employer suddenly finds a way to do the “impossible” and offers you what you wanted all along. So, what do you do?
If your answer is ‘stay’, you’d be in the majority. 57% of employees accept counter offers. After all, it’s the safe bet, isn’t it? You’ve got what you wanted, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of uprooting your life and starting from scratch at a new company where you don’t know anyone. Well, it might not be that simple! 80% of employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving within six months, rising to 90% by the twelve-month mark.
The fact is, just because your employer offers you the raise or promotion you’ve asked for, the underlying reasons you weren’t happy in that role won’t just disappear. An employer that undervalues you is likely to do it again in the future, and you might find yourself regretting your decision to stay.
Even if the counter offer gives you everything you want, you may find it works against you in the long run. Your resignation can raise questions about your commitment and loyalty to the company and may affect your chances of getting promotions in the future. Many bosses will start considering replacements even if you do stay, as they are uncertain about your future with the company.
Deciding to change jobs isn’t a decision that anyone takes lightly. Whilst it may have been the final straw, not getting a raise or promotion is rarely the sole reason someone decides to leave a company. We’ve had countless candidates accept counter offers only to realise that it hasn’t resolved the underlying problems that sparked their move in the first place. Worse still, some candidates have found that their original decision to resign has exacerbated the problems and damaged their relationship with their manager or employer.
When it comes to changing jobs, you have to trust your gut. You made the decision to leave for a reason. If you have a job offer on the table that you’re happy with, take it.
As an employer, you might think relying on counter offers is a good strategy. After all, winning over 57% of employees sounds pretty good, right? Think about this another way. Instead of keeping 57% of your employees, you’re losing 43% of the employees you value enough to counter offer. Replacing them isn’t going to be easy, either. Chances are, you’ll have to at least match the offer they’d received elsewhere to bring in someone with similar skills and experience. On top of that, you’ll have to go through a costly recruitment process.
So, what’s the answer? First, you need to properly understand the value of your employees. Start by benchmarking yourself against the competition. If you’re underpaying significantly, don’t be surprised if you’re struggling to hold on to talent. Secondly, be transparent. If your employees don’t trust you, it can result in them feeling undervalued, even if they’re not. Lastly, think of the bigger picture. You might be offering a competitive salary, but what other benefits do you offer? Employees don’t just care about money. They’re looking for good career progression opportunities, a healthy work/life balance, an enjoyable work environment, and much more.
With the current candidate shortage, it’s hard enough finding new talent. The last thing you want to be doing is losing good employees. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure your employees know how valued they are before it comes to counter offers.