You will certainly know that your team is your best asset. A cohesive, loyal, high performing team is the best tool that you will have in achieving business success. And getting good employees on board is often a hard-won process in a candidate short market.
So consider this situation. One of your best-performing team members advises you they have decided to leave. How do you react? You want them to stay and you know how difficult it will be to replace them in a difficult market. You really feel that offering them more money to stay is the only option.
So what are some of the areas should you consider in this potential counter-offer situation..?
1. Have a plan
Avoidance of this desperate situation is really the best scenario by having a clear plan and strategies in place. Even if you are a small two Partner firm, it helps to have a plan and to have thought about these areas. You can start by asking how important are these factors to you as an employer:
– Employee engagement
– Training and development
– Goal setting with your team
– Informal communication
– And.. the fun factor. How enjoyable is it working for YOU and your firm?
2. Is it all about the money?
The legal sector is generally relatively transparent in terms of remuneration generally based on PQE years. What pay your employees are going to be earning is probably relatively similar to your competitors. Make sure you are up with comparative salary offerings. Talk to us about our Annual Salary Survey and make sure you are offering within appropriate sector bands. Understand what some of the other offerings are around bonus structures, retention schemes and parking.
So when your top performing employee comes to you to announce that they are moving elsewhere.. you will hopefully know that you have ALREADY done all you can to encourage them to stay prior to that point.
Also, did you know that according to Forbes employees should not accept a counteroffer by an employer to stay after resigning?
AND if you decide that counter-offering is the best strategy, then it may also be worthwhile to be prepared for your employee having a high probability of leaving within the year.
3. Employment Brand
Hopefully, you will know what this is after you have developed your plan. But if not, talk to your employees. What do they like about working with you? What don’t they like? What can YOU do better to encourage your team to stay and also attract new recruits? Do you offer flexibility? Do you offer career breaks and the opportunity to return to the firm?
Another aspect of your employment brand is your alumni. This extends beyond employees returning and also to the sorts of conversations ex-employees may be having with their friends and colleagues after working for you. What might they be saying? Would they recommend your firm as a great place to work? Or not? As recruiters, we are often part of these conversations as we talk with candidates throughout the interview process and often learn a great deal about different workplaces.
Some of these areas and more will form part of your employment brand. As an employer, it is important to understand what your employment brand is and be able to articulate it and understand where the gaps might be.
4. Your relationship with your recruiter
In case you missed it in our earlier post for employees, this can be a very important relationship! Tell us about how you keep your best people. What do you do for your team members? Why DO people stay? Why do they leave? How have you managed this well in the past? Or not so well. The more we know about your firm, the more we can help you. And by YOU having a good understanding of these areas may mean you can mostly avoid the potential for awkward counter offer situations.
“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” ~ Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart