Counteroffers 2017-09-13T15:05:19+00:00


Because of the incredibly tight market for talent, you, as an employer, are faced with a very weighty decision when one of your employees comes to you with a resignation letter: whether or not to make a counteroffer.

Before extending a counteroffer, ask yourself three questions:

1. Is it just about money?

The decision to leave a job is rarely about money alone. While you may be able to address one or two important issues by adjusting their compensation or responsibilities, the other reasons your employee was receptive to other opportunities will not disappear. Indeed, you may be faced with this same conversation with this very same employee in less than a year. You may only be delaying the inevitable.

2. Can you go forward from this point?

It is hard not to take a key employee’s threat of departure personally. Couple that with the good possibility that this person has spent some of their time “on the clock” developing he relationship that led to their new job offer. Suddenly, issues of loyalty become salient, especially if you are losing this person to a competitor. If you would be moving forward with ill will, it may be best to simply part ways.

3. How will it affect the rest of the staff?

Though you may try, it is highly unlikely that your counteroffer discussions will be kept strictly confidential. Your efforts to keep one team member may result in great resentment among the rest of the group. If you cannot justify this employee earning more than someone else in the same role, you probably cannot justify a counteroffer.

Obviously there are many issues to consider when making a counteroffer. You will be making a decision affecting you, your staff, and your company. Make sure it is a decision based on reason, not emotion.