The Counter Offer

Scenario: Your best senior accountant just put in their two week notice and your first thought is, “I can’t lose him/her! We need to think of a counter offer stat!”  How many times have you been in this situation?
Let’s talk about why this is a bad idea:
We find that most people start looking for a new job because of company culture, no opportunity for growth and/or work life balance. So, while throwing more money at your valued accountant solves the problem at the time, it typically is a momentary Band-Aid.  In six months, you are back at square one with your best senior accountant giving their notice once again. It is always the same story, your senior accountant says the money was nice and helped them overlook some challenges six months ago, but at the end of the day the reason for the resignation has not changed at all.
Something to consider:
If word gets out that there was a counter offer, what will everyone else think?
You open yourself up to a number of unwanted situations. One example: Everyone in your department will think if they put in their notice, they too will be given a counter offer to stay. So, if you don’t give that employee a counter offer, the talk starts about playing favorites.
In conclusion:
While a counter offer may make your life a little easier if accepted, in the long run it will cause many more headaches.  The next time a senior accountant calls in sick or takes a long lunch you will worry that they are interviewing.  So, instead of a counter offer, wish them luck on their career endeavor and start looking for your next great senior accountant!

McCord, K. Mon, 6, June 2016. “The Counter Offer” LinkedIn. Retrieved from