Ep. 133 – Winning the Workforce War: What Employees Really Want

What really motivates employees and keeps them engaged at work? In Part 1 of his 4-part series “Winning the Workforce War,” Dr. Bryant tackles this question on attracting and retaining top talent. He discusses the evolving challenges organizations face in today’s shifting landscape, from remote work dynamics to intensifying competition for skilled workers. But are employees’ basic wants and needs all that different from the past? Dr. Bryant reveals strikingly similar results from a workplace survey back in the 1940s – yet emphasizes leaders must continually adapt their strategies across generations to foster cultures of inclusion, growth, and appreciation. If you’re a leader looking to improve, this is the episode for you.


[00:00 – 06:25] – Evolving Workforce Challenges

  • Shifting expectations require rethinking traditional approaches

  • Remote work necessitates adapting retention strategies

  • Heightened competition makes hiring top talent difficult


[06:26 – 08:53] – Construction & Maintenance Issues

  • Aging workforce leading to growing skills gaps

  • Struggle to attract younger workers

  • Reliance on subcontractors due to shortages


[08:54 – 13:21] – Low Employee Engagement

  • Only 33% engaged at work in 2023 Gallup survey

  • Declining role clarity especially for remote staff

  • Hurts collaboration, goals, wellbeing and cohesion


[13:22 – 22:29] – Core Employee Desires & Actions

  • Employees want appreciation, involvement, and support

  • Interesting work and growth matter along with good pay

  • Similar desires seen back in 1940s survey – must adapt over time

  • Key actions: foster culture of inclusion and career growth


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Key Quote:

“Businesses need to adapt their recruiting and retention strategies to address these challenges proactively” – Dr. James Bryant


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