The Steward Perspective: First in a Series What All New Employees Should Know

By Susan Rose, Recording Secretary and Steward, Franklin Library

Welcome to your new job at Hennepin County! We hope you will have a great experience here. For the best chance of success during your probationary period, here are some recommendations, taken from actual steward cases:

  1. Keep your head down. Be sure to perform at or above minimal expectations. 
  2. Be on time! You should actually arrive a few minutes early, so that you have time to put your coat and lunch away, and stay within your allowed break times and locations.
  3. Don’t share too much (including a ride)! Avoid making personal disclosures to coworkers or supervisors. These could come back to bite you. Don’t lend or borrow money at the workplace. Be careful about accepting a ride TO work from a coworker. The coworker might get you to work tardy, and you are the one on probation. 
  4. Stay on task! If you staff a public-facing desk, we know it can be stressful to continually interact with members of the public. However, if this is your job, please do it. If you need a short restroom break, let coworkers know that you will be gone for a couple of minutes, and return promptly from the restroom. 
  5. Respect your ID badge! Bring your ID badge to work and wear it at or above waist level. Wear your ID badge at all times when you are in your building, or meeting clients off-site. Do not leave your ID badge lying around on your desk, and do not ask coworkers or security guards to let you into your work area because you are not wearing your ID badge. Do not lend your ID badge to anyone.

The suggestions above, if followed, could have prevented two probationary terminations and five investigations. Later articles in this series will discuss more suggestions, taken from actual steward cases, for success during probation. Please be aware that a probationary employee can be terminated at any time, for any reason. Probationary termination cases are very difficult to win, so it unlikely that the union can get your job back.