EP 67: Earning Trust with Your Employees with Dave Workman

Earning Trust with Your Employees

Oftentimes we don’t create opportunities to chat with employees within our organizations about what their perspectives are. However, if we give our employees the chance to share their thoughts and speak their minds, we create a space for them to grow as individuals and for our organizations to grow as a whole. So, in this episode, we will be speaking with Dave Workman from Amwood Homes about his experience leaving the company and then returning, including what encouraged those decisions along the way.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • The importance of creating a trusting environment for your team. (1:25)
  • The value of creating a space where your team members feel safe and heard. (5:00)
  • How to ensure your team members are recognized for the work they’ve done. (8:30)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals

  • Come in with a positive attitude and be willing to listen. (14:15)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives

  • Weed out the troublemakers. (12:50)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“You can’t play tug of war when you are both pushing.” - Dave Workman Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

Enjoy the show? Use the Links Below to Subscribe:














Click Here for Audio Transcript


Traci Scherck: Welcome to the talent optimization podcast we have an incredibly special treat today, and we are chatting with Dave workman and he is a senior year guy from Amwoodhomes.


Traci Scherck: And Davis joining us as we chatted with Dave Workman more than our last week from what we talked about the transformation in what has really gone through.


Traci Scherck: With optimizing staff inside of their organization and so often we don’t necessarily chat with.


Traci Scherck: The employees in our organization about what their perspectives are so Dave I am so excited to hear about your story and what has specifically kind of changed, and why you came back to Amwood after you left.


Dave Workman: Well, I came back because I I like the crew that I work with and I, like the atmosphere and.


Dave Workman: Basically I.


Dave Workman: it’s kind of up my alley of what I like to do.


Dave Workman: In all exam it.


Dave Workman: Is it’s a fast paced environment and it’s busy all the time.


Dave Workman: And it’s it I think it’s a fun place to work I got a good relationship with the bosses and you know some of the higher ups people in a corporation.


Dave Workman: And there you know if you have a problem with something it’s always nice to have somebody to talk to about problems.


Dave Workman: Not just in the work area either also if you have personal problems as well it’s open door policy, and you can talk to them about anything and it’s nice you get you know physical health more and also mental help if you need it.


Dave Workman: And it’s a really nice environment.


Traci Scherck: So what i’m hearing you say is that there’s definitely trust there between yourself in your supervisors Is that correct.


Dave Workman: Yes, definitely.


Dave Workman: You have to earn that trust you know you don’t just get it right away, you have to earn it just like you know daily life up in.


Dave Workman: Open life, you know you got to meet somebody new you know you got to earn their trust you know, like relationships or you know anything, and if you can’t earn trust you know they’re going to tweak it a little differently and.


Dave Workman: Basically.


Traci Scherck: A little bit yeah tell me a little bit about how you develop that really strong trusting relationship with the team and.


Dave Workman: How I developed it well.


Dave Workman: You have to be honest about everything you know if you can be honest and what’s the use of trying to you know be ahead of something.


Dave Workman: But, and in our work really hard at what I do and I help my other peers here at work and my bosses need help i’m always there to help anybody, and they know that everybody knows, they knew something call upon me, you know it’s just not me myself it’s other people as well.


Traci Scherck: So the team like that team has a really strong relationship with each other and commitment not only to each other, but to the work that’s being done.


Dave Workman: Right awesome.


Dave Workman: work as a team, and you shouldn’t really be here, if you want to be me specific.


Traci Scherck: yeah and how would you define a good working team.


Dave Workman: Like what’s a team you work in a team yeah.


Dave Workman: I mean you know it’s to me like anything you will have your arguments, you will have your you know differences but.


Dave Workman: All in all, that I think that builds a stronger relationship as well you know you know if you’re working with somebody long enough, you know how one three won’t do before they do it and it’s a lot easier to.


Dave Workman: Work with that person, because if you can work together and know and be a step ahead of the other guy.


Dave Workman: Everything worked out a lot smoother.


Dave Workman: and, especially, like a workaround the forklift trucks and stuff like that a lot, and if you can read the person that’s going on with the forklift you know you can get hurt and safety is a big thing here.


Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely.


Dave Workman: If he’s on if you can see me, but I have high vis on you know and then that’s a big thing that changed from the time I left to when I came back is safety there’s a lot more safety stuff going on here and they’re trying to make it safer for everybody.


Traci Scherck: And why did you leave.


Dave Workman: Why well the predecessor that was here before our plant manager we didn’t see eye to eye about certain things, and there was a lot of negative things going on.


Dave Workman: On there’s a lot of things that I did.


Dave Workman: That he asked me to do like when we moved our plant from Toledo, to Monozuma.


Dave Workman: I basically set up all the equipment for a lot of the lines here that built the walls and the trusses.


Dave Workman: He was hiding the fact that I was down here, helping them do it.


Dave Workman: And then is basically I was trying to make him look good and he was taking all the credit for everything.


Dave Workman: And I figured well it’d be better for me it’s just to throw it in the air walk away versus getting myself into more trouble than what it was worth.


Dave Workman: Right, I was upset I was mad and so walk away from a situation rather than.


Dave Workman: deal with the other ways.


Traci Scherck: Right, so what i’m hearing is that you didn’t you weren’t given the recognition and the appreciation and someone else took that and.


Traci Scherck: Therefore, without that it’s like all right i’m better off just leaving them sticking around right that’s a huge impact that our leaders have when we’re working organizations.


Dave Workman: Well it’s also the fact that you know he’s telling you to do one thing and then another person is telling you to do it another way.


Dave Workman: The higher higher bosses Tommy do it one way my boss, is telling me to do it another way


Traci Scherck: yeah so contrast that situation with the team and the lack of trust to what you currently have in a high trust team and high trust and.


Traci Scherck: With your your supervisors or your higher ups right we’re not only can they trust you to do what you say you’re going to do, but you can trust them is that correct.


Dave Workman: Exactly and is this better now than what it was, I mean they know that if they asked me to do something I can i’ll do it and i’ll.


Dave Workman: do my best to do it to their liking.


Dave Workman: You know they’re your boss through there to tell you what to do, and if you don’t do it then you’re you know you got consequences to pay.


Dave Workman: Right, but I can basically give my ideas to them and they’ll try to put my ideas into work.


Dave Workman: And a lot of times it works out really good.


Dave Workman: Like the.


Dave Workman: stalking the longer and my organization is I hear all the time you’re you’ve done an amazing job.


Dave Workman: Of the organization, it was all in house and I came back I had organized before I loved and then I come back and it’s a total disaster it’s taken me almost a month to get everything back organized was.


Dave Workman: Great I noticed that we have more product to build product.


Dave Workman: than what it was when I came back, which is nice because we don’t have to search for scraps to build something we have it there now.


Dave Workman: Right and it’s great I enjoy it.


Traci Scherck: Because it’s making your work easier right it’s.


Traci Scherck: more fun yeah.


Traci Scherck: And Dave, how do you like, to be recognized.


Dave Workman: For my hard work, I like your question my hard work, my efforts and, like my goofiness because I I come through here, and you know I can chat with a few people, you know as i’m walking through i’ll make faces at home or hand gestures


Traci Scherck: And you know you make their day as much as you know.


Dave Workman: Defiantly I’d rather have guys smiling at me than frowning


Traci Scherck: yeah for sure for sure.


Dave Workman: And what a lot of the older guys that i’ve worked with that transition from Canada or Toledo, to montezuma they were you know.


Dave Workman: A lot of the senior guys they know me and they know how I am and i’m trying to get new newer people warmed up to me, but they all they’re not quite sure who I am I got a new nickname now is called a new old guy.


Traci Scherck: yeah you know, one of the key things you know with the kind of the fun culture but but meeting those results and doing it in a way that we’re really serving individuals.


Traci Scherck: is ensuring we’ve got the right people in the right seats inside the organization So what have you noticed from when you left you know how individuals were put in positions or titles and Toledo, to you know the position titles and you know, the ability to row in the organization now.


Dave Workman: Well, the most difference that i’ve seen was.


Dave Workman: The atmosphere is a little bit less tenses like it used to be.


Dave Workman: seems like a lot of the guys can.


Dave Workman: work together as a team versus trying to fight each other, you know you can play tug of war we’re both pushing.


Dave Workman: You know i’m saying so it doesn’t quite work out that way don’t work out great tug of war, supposed to be fun and enjoyable you can.


Dave Workman: play tug of war and you’re both pushing the road.


Dave Workman: yeah so.


Dave Workman: Not.


Traci Scherck: All this episode, you can’t play tug of war when your both pushing.


Dave Workman: Well, like my grandpa used to used to say, all the time and i’ve always had it imprinted in my head, he says the you know one Horsemen pulling a wagon it’s much easier, with the team.


Dave Workman: that’s always been imprinted in my head and not try to preach that to my kids as well.


Traci Scherck: yeah and so when you look at kind of how your role in the organization and it’s an incredibly important role um you know and as you’ve grown into that role.


Traci Scherck: How has not only the team of guys and gals that you’re working with, but how is that leadership team and the the influence of Dave Workman, and that HR impacted that inside of the plan.


Dave Workman: Well it’s a big impact.


Dave Workman: We have lot more communication now than what we used to.


Dave Workman: And there’s a few things that I kind of frowned upon that has changed.


Dave Workman: But we’re still trying to work on it and change trying to get used to it it’s sometimes it’s hard to get used to a change in are so used to doing it.


Dave Workman: doing something one way, and then you come back and it’s like totally different, you have to re-learn learn how to do things differently, but you know, with the help of other people, they say it takes 21 days to make a habit.


Dave Workman: So if you can, if you can do it in 21 days, then you can make a habit out of it.


Dave Workman: So I mean you just have to do the changes and.


Dave Workman: You can go complain about it but it’s not going to do any good, because that’s how they want to have it done and a lot of changes really had to do with safety.


Traci Scherck: mm hmm.


Dave Workman: And I can’t say no about safety, because nobody wants to see anybody get hurt.


Dave Workman: You know, they want to see you come back the next day.


Traci Scherck: And because they value you right.


Dave Workman: You don’t want to have that you know if they value as much as they show you and they show a lot of value towards towards their employere, you know.


Dave Workman: You every day, I have my bosses tell me, you did you, thank you, thank you for today, you did an awesome job you know see you again tomorrow and.


Dave Workman: Thank you, I you know you got to say that back you know yeah say thank you appreciate it, it makes it feel good makes it feel like you did a complete job throughout the day.


Traci Scherck: awesome and so for our executives listening into our conversation today what’s one key takeaway that you have for them, as far as how do they create a great team and a great work environment for their staff.


Dave Workman: You have to weed out the troublemakers you know because there’s always gonna be that one person that’s going to cause trouble or you know have drama.


Dave Workman: No matter where you go you’re gonna have that but it’s nice to know that, like the saying goes, you see something say something.


Dave Workman: yeah you know, if he is causing trouble or problems, you need to say something, because you can’t have that in a work environment.


Traci Scherck: right because it doesn’t make it fun to come to work every day.


Dave Workman: you know you can goof off and have fun and still do your work and have it completed.


Dave Workman: You know, as long as you’re being you’re being safe about it, I can’t say to much about saftey.


Dave Workman: Much yeah.


Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and what about, for you know we have individuals that are in like Dave Workman’s role listening into our conversation, what do you think is important for them to hear.


Dave Workman: It’s important for them to hear that you know.


Dave Workman: they’re doing a good job I believe they’re trying their best to.


Dave Workman: help me help everybody out, you know and and their attitudes how about a lot to you know meaner.


Dave Workman: You know, you can come in and act like a boss like Oh, you need to do this and you do that, well, we have meetings and.


Dave Workman: You know they explained to you well, we should do this, and this nice some guys don’t like it don’t go back on the floor and they’re like Oh, you know that’s dumb.


Dave Workman: You know, oh no it’s not done it’s just you know they want things done a certain way there’s your way there’s his way there’s my way and then there’s Amwood way.


Dave Workman: And it’s the program you signed up for


Dave Workman: yeah you signed up for it, so you have to do it.


Dave Workman: And i’m not going to complain.


Dave Workman: You know that’s part of Protocol we’re doing in the mornings now we’re doing stretches you know in my I mentioned that to my fiancé.


Dave Workman: One day and she’s a nurse and I told her yea were starting to do stretches now in the mornings and she’s like oh yeah that can help prevent injuries.


Dave Workman: and accidents, and I was like What do you mean and she says, you know you do stretches and you, you wake up your muscles and when you wake up your muscles you’re more alert.


Dave Workman: about what you’re doing and it says it does help even nurses and doctors and stuff they even do stretches before surgery.


Dave Workman: It has its benefits.


Traci Scherck: Right right and your attitude is something that you know that’s one of the great things about being on a team is, we can bring each other up or we can bring each other down right, I also wanted to say, congratulations on your upcoming wedding.


Dave Workman: Thank you.


Traci Scherck: Absolutely.


Dave Workman: um i’m nervous about it so.


Traci Scherck: All the new things were nervous about right.


Dave Workman: Oh yeah I was nervous coming back because I figured my other peers, you know i’ll be like oh my gosh what do you do to come back in.


Dave Workman: Maybe I don’t know but I sent an email to Dave Workman and I asked her if there’s a possible way I can come back and probably went through a lot of meetings I don’t know what happened but.


Dave Workman: i’m back and I guess that’s great I enjoyed here.


Dave Workman: The only thing I don’t enjoy being outside when it’s really cold off so.


Traci Scherck: And that’s why they brought the framers inside the frame inside versus out in the middle of a Wisconsin and iowa winter right.


Dave Workman: yeah it’s Nice, I mean you know people ask me what does he would do and it’s like Oh, we build homes oh you build houses that’s like well it’s not just.


Dave Workman: Like building any House, I mean yes it’s sick framed it’s not like you know pre manufacturer in a way we call it panalized housing, which I think it’s way better because.


Dave Workman: I think it and I have my personal things about it, how I am i’ve been through some finished houses i’ve seen how it i’ve been out in the fields works and I first started with being a yard guy I was kind of low on the totem pole.


Dave Workman: I graduated to be a truck driver.


Dave Workman: And truck drivers also do rigging and stuff or crane guys, we have our own cranes um so I was rigging and driving truck and i’ve seen.


Dave Workman: How the houses are put together and i’m was amazed how fast that House can be put together, you know we can build a house here in a plant and in two to three days.


Dave Workman: And we can have a house with the floors and walls and a roof on and in three to four days and I was amazed at how good it comes together and.


Dave Workman: And everything about the homes are really nice I like them.


Traci Scherck: You just said something that I loved and that was where you started in your position and how you’ve grown and how Amwood supported that but your hard work has supported that was opportunity is right.


Traci Scherck: right as you’re talking about the homes in that the opportunity that you have to really hey you’re doing this one thing, but you get to see the finished product right like in the homes that we’re building and the impact that that has.


Dave Workman: and


Traci Scherck: You know what I heard, and when I signed your eyes, I know our listeners can’t see your eyes, but what I saw was this fulfillment in what we’re doing is personally fulfilling to you.


Traci Scherck: Would you agree with that.


Traci Scherck: Ijust want to make sure i’m not putting words in your mouth.


Dave Workman: No, no good point there, even though I totally agree with you definitely.


Dave Workman: And I like it here like I said.


Dave Workman: I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else, but I didn’t have to.




Traci Scherck:I don’t think Dave Workman’s going to let you go by the way.


Dave Workman: Maybe hearing quite a few years, I might have to leave because i’d like to have this as my retirement.


Dave Workman: You know i’m I wouldn’t go anywhere else, so I like it here like the atmosphere, like the bosses.


Dave Workman: there’s a few probably a few bosses I haven’t met maybe but.


Dave Workman: I remember the first time I met the owner his name, I believe, is ducks caught.


Dave Workman: him for some time that helped me I was up moving on a tractor and Toledo on he stopped me and introduced himself, and that was great.


Dave Workman: it’s just maybe a 32nd.


Dave Workman: conversation, but at least he stopped to made an effort to introduce himself, you know and that kind of brought.


Dave Workman: You know, like to the end of the tunnel, sometimes, especially if you know your boss comes up in shakes your hands like hey you know never met me i’m good i’m the owner blah blah blah and.


Dave Workman: I didn’t know what to say I was nervous, but I was also visit.


Dave Workman: somewhere to get the yard mowed before it started raining


Dave Workman: Right.


Traci Scherck: But yeah can you pick a more opportune time, please.






Dave Workman: The guys is below him i’ve seen quite often and even on I don’t know what his position is, but his name is Aaron he came up to me, not that long ago, it says, you did you’re doing a good job, thank you, and you know that that that means a lot.


Dave Workman: Even just a small Thank you in a pat on the back means more than anything, yeah.


Dave Workman: It don’t make much make me happy.


Traci Scherck: And you know I think that’s a lot of us, though right is it doesn’t take much it’s just.


Traci Scherck: you’re appreciating what i’m doing right.


Dave Workman: Just appreciate, you know your day and.


Dave Workman: appreciate you being here every day.


Traci Scherck: Absolutely.


Traci Scherck: And I so appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today and to chat with our listeners that you know, one of the things that we really do is, we want to make it feel like they’re in the room, with us in our conversation, so thank you so much for having this conversation.


Traci Scherck: with us and for what you do every day at Awood because I know Dave Workman thinks very, very highly of you and.


Traci Scherck: The work that you’re doing so.


Dave Workman: awesome Thank you.


Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and thank you so much, and have a great rest of your day.


Dave Workman: You as well.