Monday, 30 January 2017

What is Counter Offer and Should You Contemplate It?

If you are into a job then you must have definitely experienced this. The urge to change the job and look for new opportunities. This could be because of a variety of reasons: Salary, new opportunities, learning new skills, compatibility issues with coworkers, problems with manager or lead. This leads to a secret search for another job.  

When this thought seeds in your mind, it is hard to stop it. It will trigger a look out for change. Then you start hunting for jobs without tipping others in your company. You may look actively or passively for an alternative job and could end up getting one. But, when you tell your lead about the offer you got, he offers a hike in salary or another offer that keeps you looking for the job.  

The counter job offer is always tempting and flattering to think because here you are made to think you are being offered what was lacking before. It might be the salary part, that you think that you were being underpaid. It could be appreciation part and not getting so much leverage for the work you have done. Whatever it could be, this situation should be considered carefully, because counter offers are not as rosy as you may think.  

So, should you take the counter offer? What can happen if you do? Should you actually take the counter offer in the first place? Here are few points to consider. 

What is a Counter Offer? 

A counter offer happens when you have applied for another job and are ready to put down your papers. That is when your current employer or the manager comes with a better offer, asking you to stay giving you a salary hike, or a promise of promotion or whatever the solution is for the problem at hand. 
It is not common for situations like these and employer should be ready to accept such situations and deal with them. Mainly, these type of counter offers you might come across: 

When you got a new offer and have offered to put down your paper for the notice period, your current employer might come up with a same or better salary package. Here, you should consider if it's real or is it a temporary move to keep you from moving. It could be genuine effort to consider your value for the organization or could be a move to stop you from moving so that company is avoiding a new hire and stopping hiring and recruiting costs that are compensated this way.  

If they have recognized your effort, then do ponder over why they haven't done so far till you thought to put down your papers. Bear in mind that you are being offered new salary, because your new employer has offered the salary package and recognized your worth from the outset. So, one should thing if the salary hike at the current employer is a real recognition and a salary hike that is coming early, or is it a temporary ploy to keep you from moving. 

At this juncture you might have analyzed and did try to fix the issues whichever could be fixed. Hence you should consider thinking a hike in salary would stop the issues from cropping up again and if salary hike itself would be good enough to deal with issues. 

This is really a difficult one because this is intangible. It depends on the sense of your loyalty and can really touch your emotional quotient. This comes not in the form of any offer, but in the form of reaffirmation of your value and promises of better things to come or consideration and action on things unsolved and unaddressed. The employer might ask you to keep your loyalty or promise to give promotion in near future or a reminder of improving things or asking you to cooperate until the present project is finished.  

It always great to be asked to stay and given a new offer. But, one should keep in mind that every resource is replaceable. One should remember that your loyalty to the company has faded when you have applied and considered moving out of the job. This can risk your situation because you have already kept your one foot out of the company. Your colleagues may now have a different perception and way of approach towards you, as have blotted your trust with the company.  

The primary thing one should, however, remember when dealing with this situation is putting the impetus on you. It is not about the company, manager or your co-workers. It is about you and the reasons why you have considered leaving the company. And ask yourself the question - if you accept the counter offer, would this really change.  

The Confusion:  
Definitely, you would in dilemma dealing with such situation, either it be financial or emotional part of counter offers. It is good if by accepting counter offers you think that the financial or emotional part that was lacking in your job would be fulfilled. You be happy with the co-workers you already know and are comfortable with. You may think, how can I tread a different path, at a crucial time when the company needs you.  

But, don't venture down that path. Consider these serious issues relating to counter offers before any of the above thoughts bug your mind:  

Do keep your end career goal in mind. Keep reminding yourself the reasons why you wanted to leave at the first place. Write down your future objectives and reasons for leaving so that you can go through when you are uncertain and feel the pressure. 

Don't be emotional at this stage. Business and emotion do not go hand in hand. Remember that this is your business decision, career related and could well bring in a new journey. Do not allow blame, guilt or persuasion from management to control you. Stay and think professionally, taking full control of the situation. 

Do resign professionally and write clearly the reason for leaving. Avoid conflict by giving resignation confidently and leaving no room for doubt or confusion. 
If you consider staying take into account what issues would be fixed. Review each of the reason for leaving, consider a honest look at your issues and rethink accordingly keeping reason and issue at hand with the solution offered in consideration . 

Now here's the truth about counter offers:  
It is rare that counter offers work. Most of the times the counter offers or a stop gap arrangements and employer could terminate you once the project is finished. According to surveys, 80% people survey say that relationships with co-workers deteriorated and productivity nose-dived after accepting counter offers. 70% say that counter offers are given only as a short term measure to address a long-term problem. Most of the times the problems resurface and after 6-7(average 10) months you would again try applying for another job and leave the company.  

Unless there's an exception, here is the answer for considering counter offers: Move on to a new job unless there is a strong reason stopping you, that is 150% convincing.