The advice that we give others is usually better than the guidance that we give ourselves. There is overwhelming amount of unbiased statistics that share why taking a counteroffer is not as beneficial as it appears (utilize search engines like Google or Bing to indulge in the data). Typically, over 90% of those who take counteroffers are no longer with their employer after 1 year from accepting the counteroffer. Seems like a “no brainer” so why do so many people second guess themselves and fall into this trap?
In diligence we trust
You just put much time into the process and decided to leave your current employer. At this point you should have the information to make a viable decision. If you don’t have enough info then ask for it, if the employer isn’t willing to share info about your important decision, then it is a telling sign on how they will treat you as an employee. Besides hashing out the data, have an internal board of directors to bounce idea’s off of/play devil’s advocate (these must be high integrity and open communicators). Once you accept the offer trust in your process. Emotional intelligence (EI) is difficult to manage when additional benefits are yours for the taking. Why were these options not on the table before you broke the news of leaving? Everyday people make self-serving decisions based on emotions and not logic. EI is an easy concept to understand but difficult to execute, bottom line it is about being disciplined.
A leveraged negotiation is defined as “the power that one side of a negotiation has to influence the other side to move closer to their negotiation position. A party’s leverage is based on its ability to award benefits or impose costs on the other side.”. This is the key reason on why the counter offer was presented to you. It is reasonable to assume now that you forced your hand to your employer that this highly possible that will be reciprocated in the future when the leverage swings to the other side.
I can see many perspectives in the ethicalness of taking a counter offer. I understand that an employee’s perspective of getting what they feel entitled to as company’s tend to do what is in their best interests most of the time which makes employee’s feel a lack of loyalty, so why not maximize my position if I have the chance? The employer was not ready for this, and this is the least expensive option to do in the short run as they now have time to prepare. The company holding the bag that expected you to take their position and stopped their search is back to square one. I suggest thinking simply, how many times you would work with of for someone who went against their word. Or what type of tangible presence are you setting for yourself going forward… I can only break my word when it benefits me personally? The bottom line is it isn’t smart to take a counter offer as there is lower chance of long term prosperity. The most unethical part of a counter offer is that one is even presented in the first place as the clock on filling your position just started.
We all need to take personal accountability when making decisions in life. Not every decision we make will be in our favor. There will be times that everything lined up and the outcome is still unfavorable. I believe that what we do shows who we really are. Having grace and ownership of one’s own actions speaks volume.
Mike DePaulo, LSSBB, CDR
All Pro Recruiting, LLC.