How to deal with counter offers?

While facing attractive deals from your employer, you have to be very clear about your goals. Your reasons for leaving are prime concerns that need to be clear in your mind, as this will decide your acceptance or rejection of a counter offer.

While you are making a decision, analyze both the pros and cons of acceptance. Think of your present as well as your future professional career goals, which may not be very bright if you remain with the old employer:

  1. If you are leaving for a better salary package, a better salary would definitely be a reason to stay, but if you were in the need of a change to meet your professional goals, staying back for a better package or a higher role would not satisfy you.
  2. A counter offer may only be a test to see if you are simply looking for a raise. If there is an attractive offer that you immediately accept, it may turn out to be a real “bouncer” and you would lose your credibility with the employer.
  3. In the exit interview, you said that you were leaving for better career prospects but when they offer you a huge hike, you immediately say “yes”. This proves that you are indecisive and untruthful. You could then lose the offer the next moment or after some time, or even be sacked rather than deciding to resign.
  4. Acceptance of a counter offer may not keep you for a longer time; if you have not analyzed the proposal properly, hence it is a risk.
  5. Your current employer may remain skeptical of you and start, and keep, looking for another person to take over your position while you are not sure in your own mind whether your decision was correct or not. On the other hand, you may also have to restart your hunt for a new job in just a few months.
  6. If you are taking a counter offer of a pay rise then you may be happy but think, “what if my current employer is not happy or satisfied?” Your current employer may attempt to put greater work pressure on you to justify the increased salary package, which may dissatisfy you or create bigger and larger challenges and more pressure and stress on you.
  7. Moreover, your productivity may also decrease after you go back to the same old routine. Your mind was made up for a change and suddenly you are back in the same room working with same people doing the same job. This monotony may become a de-motivating factor and your ability to professionally complete your work will go haywire.
  8. Another risk that is involved is that after accepting the counter offer, the company may tell you at a later point that they do not find you suitable for such a large pay rise and try to reduce your salary back to the previous level at which you were employed. In such a case, you will not only lose the opportunity to take up another job but you may also lose your motivation to work and adversely affect your professional profile. In these circumstances, alternative and potential employers may look unfavourably at your actions and resultant reputation within your current employer.
  9. A promise of better motivation and processes can always backfire as people and systems do not change. If you are ready to stay with your current employer, that will suggest to your employer that you are prepared to take what they will “dish out”. Promises are not always meant to be kept!

In certain situations, things will be simpler when your employer accepts that if you have made up your mind to leave, you may not stay back for anything and so they consider they could not make their offer attractive enough for you to accept it.