The counteroffer…should you take it?

Woman thinking about a counteroffer contract

You’ve just received a new job offer, but when you hand in your resignation, your current employer proposes an enticing counteroffer to get you to stay. Should you accept the counteroffer? Read on for four points to consider before saying ‘yes’ to the counteroffer.

It’s a jungle out there. In the competitive world of hunting and gathering skilled workers, employers recognise the high cost of letting scant talent slip through their fingers. Employers will often fight tooth and nail to avoid losing capable workers. Studies show that nearly 50 per cent of employers make a counteroffer when their employees resign, commonly in the form of a promotion, greater workplace flexibility or a raise.

In the short term, the counteroffer strategy is often successful, with over 50 per cent of employees accepting counteroffers and choosing to remain with their original organisation. However, studies show that 78 per cent of employees who accept a counteroffer are back on the market within six months, often experiencing regret for not having followed through on their original decision.

Choosing to stay or go is an important decision to make, which may have far reaching impacts on your career and overall wellbeing. While each situation is unique, it’s worth taking the time to consider the following before accepting a counteroffer and remaining at a company you were prepared to leave.

Signing work counteroffer contract with HR

Questions to ask yourself before accepting a counteroffer


1. Why were you leaving in the first place?

Studies show that only 12 per cent of employees resign due to money, but it’s often money that entices them to accept the counteroffer. Take the time to think deeply about what you value, what the reasons were for you wanting to leave, and whether more money will be enough to enable you to overlook those issues.

Woman calculating her counteroffer salary thinking about staying at her workplace

2. What impact will this have on your working relationships?

Professional working relationships may be strained when your employer – and potentially all your colleagues – learn you were prepared to walk out the door but stayed because you were offered more money or perks. While many people understand it’s the nature of the game, your loyalty may be called into question and your company may even create a contingency plan to safeguard against your future exit.

Woman eating lunch alone in the office as a result of tension in the workplace

3. Will things really change?

Often, a counteroffer may come packaged with promises of change and improvement to your working life. Again, take the time to think about whether those promises can actually be upheld or not. For instance, if you are leaving because of a toxic work culture, it may not be something your employer is able to immediately fix, despite their best intentions.

Stressed woman unhappy about workload

4. How much does your current company value you?

Perhaps you were leaving because you felt undervalued, underpaid or overlooked for promotions in the past. Even if this recognition is now being given, ask yourself what value is really being placed on you if you are only being given what you believe you deserve when you have one foot out the door.

Woman ignored and undervalued during presentation by her colleagues

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