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Build Your Career Get Ahead

Quitting? Don't Expect Your Company to Pay You to Stay

Quitting? Don't Expect Your Company to Pay You to Stay
Credit: Lculig/Shutterstock

If you're considering taking a new job, don't expect your current employer to pony up more money to get you to stay, new research finds.

Despite many employers having concerns over retaining their best workers, nearly 80 percent of executives don't extend counteroffers to keep employees from taking a new job, according to a study from the staffing firm Robert Half.  

One reason for this unwillingness to give employees more money to keep them from leaving is because it can cause problems with other employees who aren't happy with their salaries. Among those executives who do extend counteroffers, more than one-third said doing so causes a ripple effect that forces them to provide raises to other employees.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said while counteroffers may seem like a good way to keep quality employees from taking a new job, they aren't an effective retention tool. [5 Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid ]

"Offering more money to someone to prevent him or her from quitting doesn't typically solve the issue that prompted that person to resign in the first place," McDonald said in a statement. "It can, however, upset the company's salary structure, prompt loyalty concerns and foster resentment among the rest of the team who may feel that they, too, must threaten to quit to receive a raise."

McDonald advises businesses to regularly review their compensation levels because waiting until an employee is considering leaving is too late to think about whether the salaries being offered are competitive enough.

"Employees' frustration over their salaries could fester into a bigger problem of feeling undervalued and unappreciated, which more money via a counteroffer won't be able to remedy," McDonald said.

The study was based on interviews with more than 2,200 chief financial officers at companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.