What Does Office Gossip Do To Your Company?
There are many issues to be aware of when you are trying to effectively manage a company. One of the biggest issues you will face is dealing with office gossip. Gossip in the workplace causes feelings of anger and resentment and in many cases it can even force some of your best employees to leave. Office gossip will create a hostile working environment and this is a place where no one really wants to be. As a leader of the company you are in charge of controlling office gossip and situations like this. If you can get on top of office gossip problems, you will demonstrate your ability to lead the company and also your ability to really find a way to strengthen the bond between your staff.
Stop the gossip chain
If you notice that you have employees using chat sessions or they are in the break room and talking about other employees, you need to stop this behavior immediately. Unfortunately there are some personalities out there that are just drawn to the gossip chain and they can't seem to pull themselves away from it. You need to get out there and stop it and then call the individuals into your office for one on one meetings to really confront their behavior. You need to remind them of company policies and the mission of the organization and to show them how their office gossip is not progressing the company but really hindering it from what it could be. Make them accountable for participating in gossip and don't let it continue on.
Walt Disney used to take employees that did not like one another and force them to work on a team. He felt that this would inspire them to work harder as they were competing with each other. Now whether you want to go to this type of extreme is up to you but sometimes it is a good idea to let two people work out their differences on their own rather than trying to get in the middle of the conversation. Forcing your employees that have been talking poorly about one another to work together may be a great way to stop them from gossiping about each other. They will need to learn how to trust each other and to really rely on each other. This is a great way to make two people quit saying negative things about each other and to finally break the gossip chain.
Clear up misunderstandings
In a lot of cases the reason why you have gossip is due to a misunderstanding of some sort. You should talk to the employees and get both sides of the "story" so you can clear up what really happened. Have them come into the office and talk to them separately and together in order to clear up any type of misunderstanding that is leading to office gossip. Gossip always seems to overtake the truth and it may require you stepping in to set the record straight before the parties involved recognize that this is not factual information that they have been hearing and spreading around the office.
A lot of people may not realize that gossip is bad and that it does impact the productivity of the company. Give your employees a warning to quit spreading around office gossip. If they do not change their ways, let them know that disciplinary action will ensure until they may eventually reach the point of losing their job as their behavior is impacting the bottom line of the company.
Stopping office gossip before it is allowed to go on and on is one of the best things you can do to create a healthy working environment for everyone.