Perhaps short of winning a Mega Millions Lottery, or inheriting a comparable amount from an eccentric uncle once removed, few people leave jobs where they feel well paid, given opportunities and promotions their performance deserves and feel well respected. Once you announce you’re ready to walk and they suddenly appear with a duffel bag of cash and keys to the company car remember, there’s always free cheese in the mousetrap.
People surprisingly find themselves in common circumstances in the counter offer power play. Imagine discovering you’re underpaid by 20%, outperforming your peers, and have responsibilities beyond the scope of your title but no promotions. L. Nallalingham found himself in this situation as he describes, in his own words “Within a short period of time, I had an offer to join a competitor that included a 40% increase on my total package, and a title that reflected the full set of responsibilities … I spoke with my boss,…he offered to match the offer right there on the spot. He told me, I was the top performer in the team, that he did not want to lose me and of course they would match the offer…I was furious. He had the chance to make the same offer just a month earlier but instead offered me 6%. It was basically an acknowledgment that the company had been taking advantage of me.”
Even for those that accept the counter offer, countless articles show most leave inside of 18 months. For many, it isn’t about the money but the self-respect that would have to be traded for the counter offer. And some things of personal value can’t be deposited in a bank.