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I would never ever counteroffer. To do so would crack Pandora's box wide open.

First of all, it is simply not a game that I am willing to play.

Secondly, the other team members will know about it (eventually) and will (eventually) try to do the same thing.

Overall, it would be detrimental to team cohesion and would undermine the culture that I want to build:- One that is focused entirely on solving the problem in front of us.

If a member of my team needed a pay rise (i.e. if they were expecting a child) then I would work energetically to represent them within the organisation to make sure that they get what they need -- but for their part I would expect them to interact with me honestly and not play silly games.

If a member of my team needed a pay rise (i.e. if they were expecting a child)

Wow, isn't that massively discriminatory? Raises and contributions should be merit- or contribution-based, no more and no less.

Yeah, I'm trying to read it as "if a member of my team came to me with a new ambition to do what it takes to up their comp (for whatever reason) I'd work with them to expand their role in the org" but... it should not be a manager's job to view me taking care of my parents differently from Coworker X buying anime figurines if Coworker X and I are in the same role having the same success.

It's not silly games. It's a business transaction, they're negotiating. I think it's fair to not counter offer for reasons stated elsewhere in this thread but you can't accuse people of playing games when this is such an important part of our lives. So much is dependent on money, to not negotiate with other offers is foolish when the moment a company decides that an employee is less valuable than their cost they're out the door.

Would you give them a 30%-40% raise? That's what people are often getting when they switch jobs.

Another point is some might feel if they have to ask for a raise, the company has failed them already, they work should have been noticed by then.

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