Counteroffer Syndrome - one reason why good employees are leaving

Counteroffer Syndrome

Lots of businesses are experiencing Counteroffer Syndrome more and more.  Why are we waiting for our people to ask for a raise, and not offering it upfront?  

Here are a few reasons why an employee might avoid this conversation, and why you should be on the front foot: 

  • People generally do not feel comfortable having these conversations 
  • Some cultures may prefer being acknowledged for their work vs asking to be recognised 
  • Personalities that are shy or introverted could find these conversations difficult  
  • Some personalities want to be recognised and shouldn’t have to ask 

It therefore becomes easier to leave and take a new, and generally higher salary offer. 

However, when someone resigns, what do you know... 

...They are offered a raise to stay, because it’s deemed that it’s worth paying more to do so, and to keep them. At this stage, it can be insulting. Why are they worth more today than they were yesterday, just because they resigned? 

Avoid being reprimanded with hiring costs and impact to business operations to replace employees. Some ways to keep your employees' content are by: 

  • Review pay levels outside of annual pay cycles, and ensure you are market relevant 
  • Identify high performers 
  • Know who you don’t want to lose 

…and have an “unexpected” conversation with those team members, recognising their worth and presenting that to them, again “unexpectedly” – not during a standard review cycle.  We all know there’s a budget for it – because it’s miraculously found when a resignation happens! 


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