Did one of your top employees just give their notice? While the initial reaction may be to offer them a higher salary, better benefits, or new responsibilities, keep in mind how the employee is feeling and what got them to this decision.
Counter offers are often a difficult and complicated resolution for both parties. For the employee, they have decided that the position or company is no longer fulfilling them, and while they may disclose that reason when giving notice, there is also a possibility they keep it to themselves. As an employer, you do not want to lose your top candidate, so the initial reaction to what you think will make them happy again is more money. Though it may seem that the employee has the upper hand in the situation, remember that you do still have some of the control.
Research shows that 85% of employees who accept a counter offer are gone within six months. Keep in mind the reasons below when faced with this hard choice:
1. Ain’t got no satisfaction.
Happy employees don’t consider other opportunities. They don’t “put feelers out,” take phone calls from recruiters, or click on targeted job adverts. If an employee has taken even one interview, it is because they’ve been dissatisfied with at least one part of their current role.
2. Money doesn’t always talk.
Issues that caused the employee’s unhappiness will remain even though they may be distracted by the smell of cold, hard cash. While still unsatisfied, though with some extra money in their wallet, their search will eventually begin again, and now that they are earning more, they will begin to request more.
3. The trust has been broken.
After a counteroffer, there will never be the same level of confidence and trust in the employee due to constantly having to question if their doctor’s appointment is actually an interview. Company commitment and coworkers will be viewed differently, and now instead of one unhappy employee, you’ve risk having a whole unhappy team.
4. Don’t panic.
Assess the situation and the employee in question. On one hand, you may spend months trying to recruit, replace and train a new employee when a bump in salary would have saved you the headache. On the other hand the extra money may only buy you a little bit of time and 3 months down the line you could find yourself back in the same spot. Keep the team and company in mind when deciding if the employee will just come back in a few months with another notice.
Check out the complete Counter Offer Tip Sheet for more advice on what to do in this tricky situation. For additional hiring resources, click here!