Is Your Employer Offering You a Counter-Offer or a Retention Bonus?

Recently, in my professional staffing career, I have been noticing the following trend.

Candidates, who once may have had a better insight into the real meaning of a "counter-offer", are now accepting something similar that employers like to call a “retention bonus”.  It really doesn’t matter which phrase is used; it’s still the same concept. A “retention bonus”, in its original form, is a bonus that is presented to you (prior to giving notice of your decision to leave), usually either at the time of a performance review or promotion.

As a candidate, I would caution you to weigh the following, when that terminology is used, as the end result of both "counter-offer" and a post-decision "retention bonus" is one in the same.

Here are 10 reasons that I would caution you about considering a counter-offer:

  1. What type of company is it to work for where you have to threaten to resign before they pay you what you are worth?
  2. Where is the money for the counter offer (or “retention bonus”) coming from?  Is it your next raise early?  All companies have strict wage and salary guidelines, which must be followed? Are they going to make your increase retroactive in order to compensate for under paying you over the last several years?
  3. Your company may immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price. In many cases, you could be training your replacement.
  4. You now have made your employer aware that you are unhappy.  From this day on your loyalty will always be in question.
  5. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and who was not.
  6. When times get rough, your employer will begin the cutback with you.
  7. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future even if you accept a counter offer. Things about your position and company rarely change.
  8. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high. 85% of people who accept are gone in six months, and 90% of people who accept are gone in twelve months.
  9.  Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride knowing that you were bought.
  10.   Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never   be the same.  You will lose the personal satisfaction peer group acceptance.

Do you have questions about your current employment situation? Or, are you looking for a new career?

Contact Heidi Hoyt in Skoda Minotti's Professional Staffing Group by calling 440-605-7227, or leave a comment below.

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