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Friday, 19 April 2013

Why Executive Counter-Offers Usually Fizzle Out

There simply aren't a lot of long-tenured, high-performing executives out there who, while describing their excitement for the company, its culture and people, tack on to their comments a footnote about having been coaxed to stay by an attractive counter-offer.

That's because, over the long-term, the desired effect of a counter-offer to a top-notch management executive most often fails to materialise.

Sure, the individual who decided to explore greener pastures elsewhere and who had to be convinced to stay may well stay for a while. But the motivations that first led to their career exploration and potential acceptance of another employer's job offer typically resurface only months later.

The counter-offer as an executive retention tool may serve an organisation's short-term best interests.

Perhaps its best use is to buy time for the organisation that prioritised neither executive retention nor management succession and avert the kind of internal crisis that can bubble up from a critical leader's sudden and unexpected departure.
Human resources leaders who are tipped off to an executive's acceptance of a counter-offer, therefore, would be wise to do their homework, because sooner or later, the same individual may well leave for good.

Particularly in this business climate, nobody likes unpleasant surprises. As the balance-point of the executive employment pendulum continues to move slowly, but steadily, toward equilibrium, talented executives with increasing career options will indeed explore their options.

Just don't be surprised by that, and don't expect someone's acceptance of a counter-offer to keep them in the game for long.
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