Creating an Irresistible Organisation

Creating an irresistible organisation

As we start the new financial year, we take stock of where we’ve come from.

The pandemic was a Black Swan event, putting organisations through an intensive stress test – and there were some major lessons learned that will stand us all in good stead for future events.

This month, on the World At Work podcast, renowned industry analyst and researcher Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte was interviewed. His focus was squarely on the back-to-work (or hybrid work) strategy, and the employee experience.

In the spotlight is creating an irresistible employee experience, and how organisations can use this to attract and retain talent.

According to Bersin, this area is a huge topic amongst organisations who are scrambling right now to define their HR strategy for next year. And it will only get bigger.

The “Irresistible” model Bersin has been designing, is all about the big picture at work, the job, the way people are managed and led, the work environment, growth development and empowerment.

Says Bersin, “When you’re empowered and energised by your team, respected and forgiven when you make mistakes, you feel like you’re going somewhere, some good things are happening.”

Bersin observes that we have collectively learned major lessons from the pandemic, and he posits that organisations can leverage these learnings to prepare for those future crises that come up every three to five years or so – whether they be cyber-attacks, natural disasters or other negative events that impact organisations.

There are some fundamental things that are necessary for organisations in moving forward:

  1. The importance of highly trained, empowered people in the moment of need – in other words, those people who manage things locally and coordinate.
  2. Massive amounts of coordination are required, and a blueprint for doing so.
  3. Enabling people and systems that can quickly respond in an integrated way.

At a time when organisations are struggling to attract and retain talent, this should be an entree for more progressive organisations to step up and create an environment that lends itself to empowerment, growth and purpose.

Finding Meaning Can Be Simply Irresistible

Bersin’s definition of an irresistible company is a place where employees look forward to going to work, feel empowered and energised by their work and team, feel respected and forgiven when they make mistakes – and they feel they are ‘going somewhere’ in their career.

Bersin calls this “finding meaning” in our work.

“The best solution to a problem is to empower the people to solve it and remember the people will solve every problem you have in the company, if you align them and support them well,” says Bersin.

“When you’re empowered and energised by your team, respected and forgiven when you make mistakes, you feel like you’re going somewhere, some good things are happening.” – Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte

He adds that organisations can still be irresistible even if your company isn’t doing well. But when the business comes back, it comes roaring back.

However, one of the biggest challenges right now is a people and skills shortage. “The supply chain of humans is maybe the biggest supply chain problem we have,” he says.

Across the board: Transportation, retail, manufacturing and hospitality – there simply aren’t enough people, and skilled / trained people, to fill the roles as the economy comes back to life after the past doldrums of COVID.

Retention and Engagement Is The #2 Issue for Business Leaders

Talent retention and engagement have risen as the #2 issue of concern for leadership, according to Deloitte Insights research.

In the current climate, if organisations are not irresistible, one of the key pillars of growth, will be severely impacted. So Bersin says reskilling is critical to this.

“One of the pillars of Irresistible, is growth – and allowing people to transition into a new career path, if the job they’re in is going away, or … if they want to do something different,” he says. “It’s more cost-effective to develop someone internally than replace them.”


The Simply Irresistible Organisation: Deloitte University Press


Creating a learning culture is key to this. But as HR professionals, we all know that engagement is critical to success. And there is an engagement crisis.

Engagement is a tough nut to crack for any organisation. And with Millennials flooding the workforce, with different expectations from previous generations – it’s apparent that organisations without a compelling technology and development offering, are going to be left behind.

“One of the pillars of Irresistible, is growth – and allowing people to transition into a new career path, if the job they’re in is going away, or … if they want to do something different. It’s more cost-effective to develop someone internally than replace them.” – Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte

Research indicates that the vast majority of Millennials – or the new breed: Perennials – expect their employer to provide them with accelerated and ongoing development opportunities.

So, what this looks like for any organisation stems from the growth opportunities afforded them.

Designing Irresistible eLearning

There is no question that the L&D industry is borrowing increasingly on Hollywood and social media in an effort to win back disconnected employees by engaging them with sophisticated and entertaining content.

Much has been written about this, and our recent blog, Hollywood Hacks: How to create a more immersive learning experience is an example of how L&D is changing – and needs to change further to cut through with today’s workforce.

Technology and social media have made it far easier to deliver high engagement programs that are social, leverage video for storytelling, engage with VR and AR, gamify and package it all up for today’s learner tied up in a micro-learning bow.

As Domenic Caloia, founder of The Centre for Learner Intelligence, said, “Think outside the LMS.”

Engagement and the death of “Click Next”

As organisations shift to respond to their rapidly changing environment, onboarding, compliance, re- and upskilling in particular, will yield results for organisations who follow these three concepts:

  1. Involve me70:20:10 rule applies, and interactive, virtual and augmented technologies help today’s learners feel for success, and more importantly, failure.
  2. Entertain me – Use the storytelling techniques and video of Netflix and Hollywood to bring your content to life and engage learners.
  3. Challenge me – We are innately competitive creatures – both with ourselves and with others. You can Gamify your eLearning to tap into this human trait that lies within all of us, for improved eLearning ROI.

But all of this means nothing without inspirational leadership.

As Bersin notes, “The days of the hard-nosed, profit-obsessed CEO are slowly coming to an end. While most businesses expect people to work hard, CEOs now realise that it’s the soul of the business that inspires people to contribute.”

Does your company have a mission you can relate to? Do your leaders trust employees to make the right decisions?

These values of trust, consciousness, and soul start at the top. It’s time for CEOs and other leaders to embrace these values and embed them in the fabric of our organisations.

Are you interested in finding out how you can create Irresistible eLearning for your organisation? Book a consultation with the expert design and development team at ITC Learning here.




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