Counter Offers

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So you’ve resigned and the boss you’ve asked time and time again for a promotion / a pay rise is surprised? Erm…..REALLY?! Next thing you know – HR have cornered you and offered you everything but a company Rolex to stay (let’s be honest, if they had one they would offer it to you!) including that promotion and pay rise you’ve been asking for every 6 months up until this point. But is accepting a counter offer for the best…..?
  1. You get to stay at the same desk you’ve had for 2 years, keep the same coffee mug you’ve used every day since joining and Hooray!! …you still get to keep your lovely team mates who you go for a drink with every Friday. Not to mention the constant updates on Amy your allocator’s disastrous love life. Always an entertaining Monday morning with her around!
  2. You’re comfortable – those comfortable slippers versus sky high stilettos feel like a pretty  good option right now
  3. You’ve got what you asked for. Sure you had to threaten to leave in the first instance but you’ve bagged the pay rise/ promotion that you were wanting to leave to get
  4. You feel really flattered – yes that’s right, the business have promised a progression plan and all of the regular performance reviews to go with it. You are going to be a senior merchandiser in no time at all! Right?
  5. You’re an expert on the systems where you are…You’re the go to gal. New place = New systems. New place = You’re the New gal/guy! Who are you going to eat lunch with!?… GULP!
  1. Something made you consider leaving in the first place. Whether it was the lack of growth opportunities, the company culture, the lack of pay rise or something else entirely, there was a reason you were originally interested in leaving. Will the counter offer solve this issue long term? Think about it carefully – you had your reasons for leaving – they don’t disappear!
  2. Your company knows you were on your way outta that door! Even if you’ve been a great employee for years, the company now knows they don’t have your complete loyalty. Employers are hesitant to invest resources in those who may have been open to leaving before. If they think you are still looking, you may see less prestigious projects come your way and less emphasis on your development. Even though they may promise this to keep you!
  3. The offer may come out of desperation. Your boss/brand knows it will be a nightmare to source, recruit and train a replacement — especially if you’re working on some important projects. It’s much easier and cheaper for the company to keep you in place. To put it bluntly, it takes time and effort to find another you plus the expense of a recruiter to fill the gap. £2K payrise for you or £5K recruiter fee? You do the math!
  4. You may be burning bridges if you accept. If you’ve gone through the process and turned down an offer from a new brand, you may not be able to get one in the future. Retail is a small industry – make sure you manage a counter offer competently. Lack of decision making is discouraging.
  5. Most people who take counter offers leave within a year. It’s a proven fact y’all that most people who take counter offers find themselves looking again very shortly. For a variety of reasons, they may be a short term fix, but they’re rarely a long term career solution.
Questions to Mull over when facing a counter offer
  • Why has it taken me to resign to get to this offer?
  • Will things change in the long term?
  • If they give me a payrise now, will I still be eligible for one in the annual review too?
  • Realistically when will I be promoted again? 1 year? 3 years? It’s taken a resignation and 2 years at the same level to get me what I want this time…
  • How will this affect the relationship between me and my boss moving forward now they know I was looking to leave?
  • After asking before resigning for promotion and a pay rise, why has it taken a resignation letter to grant me what I want?
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