How to Make a Counteroffer

How to Make a Counteroffer

Counter-OfferA recent survey by Jobvite showed that 51% of employed workers are either actively looking for a new job or would be open to it.

Yikes!  Sounds like some of our best and brightest may be about to fly the coop.  When this happens, should we make counteroffers?

What do you do when a valuable employee resigns?

What do you do when a valued employee hands in their resignation to go to work for someone else?  Do you accept the resignation and wish them well?  Or do you give them a counteroffer in order to retain this valued member of your staff?

We know that there are many reasons employees leave for greener pastures.  Certainly better pay and benefits are in that mix, as well as the opportunity to do something different and perhaps better.

When your employee turns in a resignation to take a new position, converse with them about their motivation.  Is it more money, better benefits, a promotion?

If this is truly a great employee who is dedicated to your business, you should be able to hold a frank dialogue with them.

Once you know the answer to that question, you can decide if you want to present a counteroffer to retain them.

Things to consider before making a counteroffer:

One thing to consider is that your employee has already moved on in their hearts and minds.  They’ve pursued a new opportunity and are excited for a change.

  • If you present a counter offer and they stay, how will this affect your relationship with them?
  • Will you resent them for manipulating you into doing something you hadn’t planned on?
  • Will you live in fear that they will continue to look for a new opportunity?
  • Can you truly resolve the issues they have in order for them to recommit 100% to your company?
  • Will they remain positive and productive after going through this process?

Bear in mind, a survey by the National Employment association revealed that 80% of employees who stay due to a counteroffer end up leaving the company anyway within six months.

What are the impacts of making a counteroffer?

Another issue is the impact the counteroffer has on the rest of your staff.

  • Did the raise your employee received put them outside the normal pay range in your business?
  • Would you be promoting them or giving them new opportunities that they really aren’t ready for?
  • Are you telling your other employees that the way to succeed in your business is to hold you over a barrel?

Buying time with a counteroffer:

Some companies utilize counteroffers to buy themselves some time.  If the employee stays, you can then start looking for a replacement for them since 80% end up leaving within six months anyway.

The advantage is that you can take your time to find the best replacement person and make the change on your own terms.  This might seem a bit manipulative, but this may be part of the negotiation dance you’ve taken on.

The wrap-up:

One last thought:  don’t burn a bridge with this valuable employee if they do decide to leave.

It’s an opportunity for you to correct issues in your company that caused them to go.  And remember that they may learn the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and at some point you will be able to bring them back.

When they run away from home, sometimes they learn just how wonderful home really is!