Nothing can kill productivity quite like office gossip. As humans, it is natural to gossip. Some find it necessary for team cameradie and to bond with fellow employees. However, office gossip can have detrimental effects on team members and you will want to address any issues right away. Here are several tips for addressing office gossip from the experts at Prescott HR.
What is considered toxic office gossip?
First, it’s important to understand what unhealthy gossip looks like so you can avoid allowing it in your workplace. Gossiping is part of human nature and a way to build bonds amongst one another. Some even consider it a social skill. Gossip doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. One example is if a coworker gets engaged- that can be exciting news for employees to share with one another. It’s the bad gossip you need to look out for, including negative gossip that intends to harm someone or lower their morale. An example of bad gossip is making an assumption that a coworker may get fired and then spreading that rumor to other employees.
How to Mitigate Office Gossip
As a business owner or manager, you want to be sure to address negative office gossip immediately. It’s important to send a message to your employees that you will not allow negative office gossip of any kind in your organization. Here are a few helpful tips:
Nip Gossip in the Bud
As we mentioned, you have to address rumors or negative office gossip immediately upon hearing it. Identify who is contributing to the gossip and set up either individual or group meetings to address it.
Never Contribute to Gossip
Gossiping is human nature, but as a manager, you should never involve yourself in workplace rumors or gossip. When you’re in a leadership role of any kind, you have to do just that: show leadership. Avoid partaking in overly personal conversations among your staff. If you hear someone gossiping about another employee, point out that the employee they are discussing is not here to defend themselves and they should disperse right away.
Establish an Office Gossip Policy
If you find that these measures are not working, then you may want to consider establishing an office gossip policy. Layout the rules in your office handbook and be sure to communicate the new policy to your employees. In your policy, it’s a good idea to:
- Clearly outline what constitutes unaccepted office gossip
- List topics that are off-limits in office discussions, like politics, salaries, employee performance, etc.
- Explain the disciplinary actions if an employee violates the policy
Work with Prescott HR
Are you still unsure of the steps you can take to address work gossip? Hire the experts at Prescott HR to help you! Prescott HR offers a wide range of employee services that can help you address workplace gossip, including progressive discipline and more. Our unintimated HR practices allow us to be focused and effective, providing your business with exactly what you need. Give us a call today at 443-351-8818 or contact us online.