There is nothing so persuasive for your membership to see than being the example of what leadership should reflect. Look to the following standards for your guide:
- Hard Working
- Model Employee
As a steward, you must have credibility with union members, co-workers, and the managers and supervisors with whom you attempt to resolve workplace issues and problems. Usually, credibility isn’t easily granted it must be earned over time. Stewards must be able to motivate members to take action on workplace concerns and problems. Stewards who try to “do it all” become overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed out. Stewards who do it all are not involving other members in the union. High member participation is a sign of a strong union.
In order to gain credibility with you members in your role as a Steward, try following these tips:
- Be honest with members, co-workers and managers; a steward who bluffs, misleads or skirts the truth won’t remain credible for very long.
- Be reliable. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know” — then get the information and get back to the person as soon as possible. When you say you are going to do something, follow through.
- Be knowledgeable about the contract, the work rules and policies, co-workers in your area, supervisors and managers, issues impacting the workers, etc.
- Be supportive. When co-workers approach you with their concerns and complaints, offer understanding, encouragement and help or guidance in addressing their problems.
- Be committed to the labor movement and the goals of CWA gaining respect, dignity and fair treatment on the job, and providing a voice in determining working conditions.
Leadership can be defined as the ability to motivate a group of people to act in pursuit of its common interests and goals. Your members look to the steward as a leader in the workplace. They turn to the steward when they are seeking information or when they need some help in solving a problem. To be a leader, the steward must understand the diversity of the union’s membership and promote unity to put a stop to management attempts to divide workers.