Having recently read a number of blogs on this subject I feel compelled to write this as I believe most articles are very one sided in their viewpoint. Most are focused on outlining to candidates the many reasons why, when they resign, they should not be tempted to stay by a counter offer. I don’t think I have read anything explaining the reasons why you SHOULD accept a counter offer but here’s the thing - there are times and there are circumstances when the right thing to do is to stay put.
To me it all comes down to the individual’s motivations for leaving the organisation in the first place. Often individuals are very happy in their careers, working for a company they respect, where they are paid well for the job that they do, where they are culturally aligned and where they feel valued. Sometimes the missing piece and hence their desire to move on is purely driven by their ambition to take on a more senior role with more responsibility. If the counter offer entails gaining that promotion and taking on that responsibility then why not accept?
You can ask why had the promotion not happened already however sometimes (particularly in the current market) there has to be a reason or a rationale to make things happen. Your resignation may just be that catalyst that makes things happen. Only you as an individual will know how well you have been looked after and how genuine your employer’s intentions are.
As has been well documented, I would also caution people from accepting a counter offer based on either pure promises or increased salary alone. This is an important and difficult decision for people to make, often with two competing parties putting you under significant pressure to stay or to accept the other role. Certainly, these situations are rarely as clear cut as many articles suggest.
My advice if you are unsure is to talk to people you trust who are impartial to the situation and who will try and make you see the situation in a balanced and unbiased way.