February 23, 2021

Unexpected Resignation: To Counteroffer or To Not Counteroffer?

In hopes of bringing immediate relief into the job market, U.S. organizations added 49,000 jobs in January 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. As companies continue to conduct business during the pandemic, we are seeing the job market become more competitive due to the job growth available for candidates. Employers have built up a demand for searching and hiring individuals with unique skill sets, while also providing flexible and attractive options. The professional job market landscape has evolved into a candidate-driven market, and companies who are hiring are working hard to attract the right candidates to join their team and retain current employees.  

What can employers do to keep their employees from looking for other opportunities? The job market is ever changing, but the one thing that remains consistent and essential is communication. Listening and addressing all positive and concerning feedback from employees allows for the opportunity to improve on weaknesses within your organization. An example of this advice is to develop anonymous employee surveys and learn about the strengths of your organization, in addition to areas that need improvement. Employees are always seeking opportunities for career growth, so it is imperative to discover these insights, develop, then apply those solutions. Taking a proactive approach can address unhappy employees and retain talent within your workplace. To learn about the top nine reasons why employees look for new career opportunities, visit here.

Unexpected resignations are rare when leadership takes the time to understand their employees’ internal challenges, interests and needs. However there are situations where individuals have made up their mind and proceed forward in leaving their employer. Although companies are eager to keep top talent, JKExec cautions at the idea of providing a retention counteroffer to the employee.  A retention counteroffer is a salary offer made in response to an employee submitting a resignation letter. This response can mitigate the company’s initial shock of losing a great employee, but most often will not provide the long-term solution you are looking for. Whether or not the decision is based off of how vital this employee is to the organization, counteroffers are known to be counterproductive and does not address any underlying issues.

It is important for employers to be supportive and respectful of the employee’s decision but also ask for the rational to understand the “why.” Uncovering new information can assist organizations in constructing a solution and not let history repeat itself. After following the proper HR protocols when an employee resigns, this is the time to reexamine your hiring plan. Taking the time to evaluate the hiring process will provide guidance and set your company up for success when attracting the right candidate. Losing an employee is temporary but striving to create a happy and healthy work environment is long-lasting.

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