Nothing positive comes as a result of office gossip. In fact, it can be a serious problem that leads to an unproductive team and an unhealthy work environment. As a manager, it’s your job to put a stop to office gossip before it causes a rift between your team members. Here are a few tips to help you get to the root of the problem and put an end to workplace gossip.
Have a Zero-Tolerance Policy in Place
Have a clear policy in place regarding office gossip and make sure employees are aware of this policy. It is your company’s job to protect employees from disclosing personal or sensitive information to others. If gossip should occur, make sure employees know that they face the risk of disciplinary action.
Address the Perpetrators Immediately
If gossip does become a problem, your first priority is to stop it as quickly as possible by addressing the key perpetrator(s). Do this in a confidential manner so others cannot overhear the conversation. Your goal should be to help the person understand the impact of their behavior and what consequences they will face if it continues.
Meet with Your Team
After you have addressed the specific perpetrators individually, the next step is to discuss the problem with your entire team. You can do this by bringing the topic of “gossip” up during your next team meeting and helping the team understand the negative consequences of office gossip. You also want to work with your team to find ways to encourage positive conversations among team members.
Model the Behavior
If you want to lead a team that is encouraging of each other then you need to model that behavior yourself. Employees will look to you for what behaviors are acceptable so you need to be sure you are emulating positive behaviors at all times. You want to let others see you speak positively of others and avoid gossip. It is your job to be a positive role model for your team and even the rest of the company.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to managing office gossip is to stop it before it starts. Encourage a healthy and positive working environment where employees can trust and rely on one another. Should something occur, it is your responsibility as the manager to put a stop to gossip immediately. Allowing gossip to flourish can lead to a culture of negativity and distrust. Therefore, model positive behavior and be aware of the happenings within your office.