Workers who resign may have to objectively analyze a counter offer

2013-02-24T00:00:00Z Workers who resign may have to objectively analyze a counter offerBy: Bob Moulesong Times Correspondent
February 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When a worker accepts a position with another company and tenders his resignation that usually signifies the end of the working relationship. Two weeks later, the worker is on to a new frontier, and the company is going through the process of hiring and training a replacement.

Usually, but not always.

There are times when the company does not want to see the worker go, and makes overtures to retain the worker. This can include making a counter offer to entice the worker to stay.

A counter offer usually consists of a salary increase. It can also consist of a benefit increase, or other perks that the worker may find attractive. Sometimes offers include the ability to work from home 1-2 days a week. Sometimes extra vacation days are offered.

There can be several different reasons why a company would make a counter offer. Some of them include:

* Bad timing – there may be openings in the department already, and running short handed will only make it worse.

* Overload – a manager may feel they will have to take on the work, and they are already swamped.

* Perception – sometimes managers are concerned that their upper management sees employees leaving as a reflection on them.

* Value – a manager may see the value in the worker and truly not want to lose that experience and strength.

* Replacement – a manager may want to hold on to a worker until they find a suitable replacement.

It is very difficult for a worker to know what the intention is of a counter offer. Is it the most extreme form of flattery? Or is it a ploy to help the company position itself in the best situation going forward? Or somewhere in between?

One of the best ways to handle this type of situation is to think it through before handing in two weeks’ notice.

For example:

— Why was the decision made to look for a new job in the first place?

— If that decision was based on money or perks, was it discussed with management?

— If the decision was made because of the job itself, was a move discussed?

— Were there options to stay with the company?

The reasons that a worker decided to conduct a job search should have been well thought out ahead of time. If they included any of the above, the worker should have looked into internal options before deciding to look outside.

The original reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion or promises made in the counter offer. How long will a raise pacify those reasons?

If these reasons were looked into, and good alternatives were not present, then a worker should be suspicious of a counter offer. More money was not available before, but is now?

Any situation in which a worker is forced to get an outside offer before the present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or better working conditions, is suspect.

No matter what the company says when making its counteroffer, a worker will always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated a perceived lack of loyalty a worker will lose their status as a team player as well as their place in the inner circle.

Another thing for a worker to analyze is that they do not want to have to threaten to quit every time they feel entitled to something at work. A worker should be able to discuss a raise or a promotion with a manager without a cloud hanging overhead.

On the other hand, if a manager is caught off guard by a resignation, then a counter offer may be given in a true positive attempt to keep a valued worker.

The trick is to be able to objectively analyze the situation without ego and flattery becoming involved.

With companies becoming more complex, teams have become more important to success. Next week, JobsSunday examines team building.

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