Survey: 58% of top managers say they give counteroffers to employees planning to leave

Many employees eventually jump ship at work, but some managers do what they can to make them stay — by throwing more cash their way.

New data from global staffing firm Robert Half shows that 58% of top managers surveyed put counteroffers on the table when reports say that they’re resigning for another position, versus 42% who say they don’t.

An independent research firm surveyed more than 5,500 American “hiring decision makers” in different industries on behalf of Robert Half.

Here’s why managers who’ve given counteroffers want to keep those employees

Top managers who say they have put money on the table when an employee chooses to leave weighed in and were able to choose more than one option in the process.

  • “Don’t want to lose institutional knowledge of employee:” 58%
  • “Don’t want to spend time or money hiring a replacement:” 42%
  • “Don’t want rest of team to absorb extra workload:” 35%
  • “Don’t want morale of team to suffer:” 34%

But here’s the kicker — even though some high-level managers give out counteroffers, the average amount of time employees who take them stay instead of leaving the company is 1.7 years. That isn’t a whole lot of time to stick around.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, commented on the research in a statement.

“Counteroffers are typically a knee-jerk reaction to broader staffing issues. … While they may seem like a quick fix for employers, the solution is often temporary. When employees accept a counteroffer, they will likely quit soon afterward,” he said.