Monday mornings are difficult enough as it is, and then an employee you never expected to leave gives their notice. What are you to do? Typically, a world of thoughts will fly around in your head. You want to save the employee. You may even ask “what can we do to keep you?” And before you know it, a counter offer is made. But is this the best way to proceed?
Look at the numbers
Data shows more than 90% of employees who accept a counter offer still leave within one year. Typically, they have a reason for initiating a job search in the first place. It could be more money, a better work-life balance, shorter commute, promotion and/or growth opportunities, different supervisor, or improved company culture. On the fly, the only thing you probably have the ability to change is to offer a raise. Money does talk! Combine this with the fear of change. This combination is why people often accept a counter offer. But shortly after, they realize nothing else that concerned them has changed.
Instead of a counter offer, some companies will ensure the employee knows they are eligible for rehire. Every so often after an employee leaves, they realize the grass isn’t greener. At that point, they inquire about returning. This can work well because the returning employee knows what they are entering into. This means they can make a commitment for the long term before rejoining the company.
So maybe next time you are caught off guard with a resignation notice, instead of a counter offer, allow the employee leave on good terms. Be sure to let them know you are open to a conversation down the road if they realize your company was where they were meant to be.
Written by Tiffany Appleton, Director, Accounting & Finance Division