You have decided to leave your current job and start a new venture in a different career, but you face a tough dilemma…your current employer has offered you a counteroffer. Do you know the best ways to approach and handle the offer professionally?
What Is A Counteroffer?
If you have handed your notice in and your employer has offered you a higher salary, promotion, or other beneficial packages to encourage you to stay, this is referred to as a counteroffer and should not be taken lightly.
There are a number of negatives which come with accepting a counteroffer and you can find out all about this in our blog, ‘‘The Downsides Of Accepting A Counteroffer’.
Your employer may ask you to stay and provide you with a counteroffer for a number of reasons:
It provides them with a longer time frame to find a new employee and train them up to fill your position;
It reduces their costs in hiring a new senior employee;
They want to retain current talent expertise.
Before settling on your decision, make sure you have weighed all of your options up…but for now, we will discuss the correct way to approach this situation.
To Accept A Counteroffer Or Not
There are a lot of issues which comes with accepting a counteroffer and therefore the decision should not be taken lightly. If you have handed your notice in, there is a reason as to why you wanted to leave in the first place, do not forget this reason!
It can be quite easy to brush the problems under the carpet if you are offered a higher salary or a promotion, but it is very likely that these issues will not subside and will continue to affect you later down the line. Again…do not forget the main reason as to why you gave your notice in the first place.
According to research from CIPD, 35% of workers leave their jobs in search of a better salary and benefit package. Whereas 27% would like a better job satisfaction rate, 24% require a better balance between work and home life, and 23% change their career entirely!
Therefore, if you are offered a salary increase as a counteroffer, is money the only reason as to why you are leaving?
If you choose to stay and accept the counteroffer, it is likely that your job will not remain secure. Your employer will be aware that you have already attempted to leave and will most likely try to leave once you have received a higher salary or better offer elsewhere.
Remember, you may be made redundant if you were to accept your counteroffer.
How To Approach A Counteroffer
So, your employer has given you a counteroffer and promised that the situation which incited your decision to leave will change…what do you do?
Do you accept it and turn down your new job?
But what if the changes never happen or you are made redundant after a few months?
All of these questions are something you must ask yourself before making a decision. Once you have received your counteroffer, DO NOT accept immediately, instead think this through and go home to discuss all of your potential options.
Follow our step-by-step guide to handle the situation correctly:
Buy Yourself Time
The chances are they have probably put you on the spot with this but do not panic as you have every right to ask for a little bit of time.
Do not forget to appreciate and thank your employer for considering you and offering you a counteroffer to stay employed. This will display gratitude but more importantly, professionalism and courteous!
Once you have asked for time to think, they will most likely provide you with a deadline, which is usually 2-3 days or by the end of the week, and in this time, you must consider everything!
If they do not provide you with a timeline, keep it to a maximum of 2-3 days!
In this time, do your research on both companies, new and current. This decision has to be the right one for you and must not be solely influenced by salary increase or promotion. Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.
What led me to hand my notice in to start with?
Am I happy working here?
Does the other job provide me with more benefits?
Will the other job be better suited to me?
Will I improve much more in my new job?
Will things change if I was to stay?
Buying yourself time could be a very positive step in the right direction!
Never go in headfirst, take a step back and evaluate the situation.
Do Your Research
Make sure you do as much research as you possibly can before the deadline is over. This includes weighing up the positives and negatives for both jobs, salary ranges in both positions, and the possible potentials which your new job could bring you.
This decision can be very influential towards your future and could change a lot of things so always ensure that you have done all of your research and gathered all your information and facts before presenting it to your employer.
Research where each job could take you in 1, 5, or even 10-years’ time and which will further your career. Try not to stay in your current job because it’s your comfort blanket! Try something new and challenge yourself. You never know, you might enjoy it!
Evaluate Their Offer
This can be a very tricky one as a salary increase could sound like the perfect answer to all issues, but it is important to remember that this is most likely only a short-term answer until something better comes along.
If they offer you something else as opposed to a pay rise, is this really worth sticking it out for? Added bonuses always sound great at the time, but the novelty of this soon fades out as you go back to square one.
So, before you decide whether you are accepting the offer or not, evaluate the offer given to you and look at all the pros and cons which can come with this.
If they promise you that there will be a new way of working and improvement will be made across the site, these things don’t often happen forever. This is something to bear in mind.
Ask Questions To Your Employer
Your employer will most likely ask you questions once the deadline approaches. These questions may often include:
Why would you like to leave?
What can we do to make the company better?
Are there any issues here which need addressing?
Go into your meeting confidently and prepared. Have your answer ready and do not falter throughout the meeting. There is a chance that your employer will continue to persuade you to stay with further counteroffers if you have rejected their first one.
Do not feel guilty nor change your mind if this happens. Stick to your guns and remain strong throughout. This decision has to be for yourself and nobody else!
Accepting a counteroffer can be a costly mistake and you run the risk from losing a number of things from one single decision.
Ask your employer questions back. You need to be confident that if you have accepted your counteroffer that you will receive what you have been offered and things will change. You also need to make sure that you will not be made redundant as soon as somebody else comes along which will fit your role!
Turning Down A Counteroffer
Letting Your Employer Know
Now comes the tricky part…turning down a counteroffer from your employer. No matter how you are feeling about this situation, it is key that you remain professional throughout and do not burn bridges.
It is recommended that you decline your counteroffer in the exact same way in which you were offered it.
However, if you were offered it over the phone, it is important to remember that you will more than likely need to email it or write it in a formal letter so this can be documented in their files.
Be Grateful For The Counteroffer
Whilst you are rejecting your counteroffer, you should still show your gratitude towards this and to your employer.
They have spent their time preparing and proposing this to you and should be responded back with appreciation.
This will help you to remain professional and mutual!
Keep It Short, Sweet, And Straight To The Point
Try to avoid going round in circles and making your answer questionable. When it comes to turning the offer down, make it clear and straight to the point but do not be harsh nor rude!
Avoid comments and details which can be considered unnecessary and leave the employer wondering exactly why you are leaving.
“Thank you for the offer which you have offered me but after significant deliberations, I regret to inform you that I reject your counteroffer which you provided me with”
Always thank them for the offer but tell them that you are not staying and provide a short, honest reason as to why you will not be accepting it. Again, keep this short and sweet as well as polite and professional. Don’t include every single key point in your letter.
Mention parts which made you happy whilst working there and areas which you enjoyed. You may really dislike it at your current job but always leave on a positive as you never know who is connected to who or where your career will take you in the future.
Stay In Touch
Finally, keep in touch with your work and your other co-workers through social media or email.
Make this apparent in your notice letter that you would like to remain in touch as this will show your employer that you are wanting to leave on a good foot and remain friendly with everyone you work with. Show no animosity!
Remain Strong & Positive
If you have been offered a counteroffer, always remain strong and positive throughout no matter what life throws at you. If you have decided to turn down your counteroffer, then make sure that you continue to turn this down no matter what else life throws at you.
Work your notice and leave happily and friendly with each of your employees and employer before you begin a new chapter in life!