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The Truth About Counteroffers You Need to Know

Posted on 21 July 2023

Congratulation! You interviewed for a job and now have an offer on the table. Now it’s time to break the news to your boss. While handing in your resignation is hard enough as it is, you must also prepare to face the possibility of a counteroffer from your employer. 

So, to help you avoid making an impulse decision based on temptation and the ease of comfort with a clouded brain, we’ve put together a few essential counteroffer truths for you to consider. 


What is a counteroffer? 

employer offering a counteroffer

Before we reveal the honest truths about counteroffers, you need to understand what they are. A counteroffer is an offer your employer makes upon your resignation in a bid to stop you from leaving. This may include, 

  • A pay rise, 

  • A promotion, or 

  • Extra corporate benefits. 

All of which are tempting. And more so when your employer tells you how much of a value to the team you are. 


The important truths about counteroffers you need to know

Revealing the truth

Counteroffers can seem like a win-win. After all, the company gets to retain a talented, valuable employee, and you get to remain where you are with added perks and not have to worry about the uncertainties of a new environment. 

But, if you take a moment to look at the bigger picture, you might find all isn’t as it appears. 

Let us clarify.


Why employers make a counteroffer

A person wondering why
  • Here’s a truth that often goes unspoken – some companies never make counteroffers. And that’s a fact. But the ones that do - do it for the following reasons. Losing a valuable team member can be a hit to staff morale. 

  • A loss in productivity causes delays in projects. 

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training new staff is costly and time-consuming. 

  • Your departure can impact the team’s and company’s reputation. 


The real dangers of accepting a counteroffer

Think about tomorrow today message

During your resignation meeting, while you’re in the middle of the storm, the concept of a counteroffer may be enticing for both parties, but there are damaging results once you’re out and back to your day-to-day job. 

  • For your employer: the counteroffer will be a temporary solution. But at the back of their mind, knowing that you desire to leave can lead to resentment and a lack of trust. Additionally, knowing that you may go and your dedication to the position and company is no longer there, your employer may have a change of heart and put you on a performance improvement plan (PIP) to buy time. Allowing them to recruit whilst you work to meet project deadlines. 

  • For you: while a counteroffer may seem like an easy solution and a juicy pay rise is enticing, you face multiple risks. 

- Your long-term career goals will suffer. 

  - You may miss out on career advancement opportunities. 

  - Your employer will no longer trust you and view you as disloyal to the team and organisation. 

  - If you leave shortly after accepting a counteroffer, it will damage your professional reputation. 

These are just a few things for you to consider when it comes to whether you accept a counteroffer. 

So, before you go into your resignation meeting, consider all of the above and ask yourself the following questions. 

  1. What were your reasons for considering leaving?

  2. What’s the best-case scenario if you decide to stay?

  3. What are the pros and cons if you leave?

  4. How will this impact your relationship with your team and boss?

  5. Which option will get you closer to your career goals?


Declining a counteroffer with confidence

Accept or decline options on a back board

In the heat of the moment, a counteroffer can seem like the best solution. But before accepting one, consider the long-term implications. 

If you decide that a counteroffer is not in your best interest, here are a few things you can do to decline and move on gracefully and confidently.

  • Be honest with your employer about why you are moving on and let them know you appreciate the counteroffer. 

  • Remain professional and considerate during the transition process to ensure you leave on good terms. 

  • Offer to help with the transition by training your replacement, running through your work processes, and giving your team members a thorough update and information on your projects. 

  • Maintain a positive attitude. 

  • Finally, begin networking and building relationships with your new co-workers and those in the industry you are transitioning into. By doing so, you will feel more confident about the move. 

In the meantime, for more information, tips, and advice on counteroffers, check out our blog – How to decide when you receive a counteroffer. 

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