Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5, millions of people venture off to work. They sit through grueling traffic jams, and they try to make it to the office on time. As the work day progresses, one may overhear a few co-workers talking in the cubicle next door. They are discussing a co-worker’s recent promotion. They say the promotion was undeserved, claiming the co-worker received the promotion based on favoritism. The co-worker who received the promotion overhears the gossip. In the days that follow, the co-worker becomes increasingly uncomfortable, and it begins to show in his work.
Gossip can affect all areas in the workplace. It can affect office morale, and it can hurt the feelings of the employee being gossiped about. Not only that, if clients find out that the company has a gossip problem, the client may be less inclined to do business with the company.
Workplace gossip should not be ignored. Implementing rules and standards can help cut down on the amount of gossip around the office.
- Enforce the ‘open-door’ policy. Employers, if an employee comes in with a complaint, allow them to discuss the issue. After the issue is discussed, work with them in order to find a solution to the problem.
- Employers, recognize the hard work of the staff, as a whole. By praising everyone for their hard work, the office will be more harmonious and equal.
- Three strike rule. There is no way gossip can be completely cut out of the workplace. However, if an employee does gossip, give them 3 chances to redeem themselves:
- First offense: Verbal Warning. Tell the employee that a complaint against them has been made, and that gossip is not tolerated at this company.
- Second offense: Written Warning. If complaints against the same individual continue to come in, write the employee up, and place it in their personnel file.
- Third Offense: Termination.
By enforcing a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against workplace gossip, employers will be creating a more positive work environment. Morale will increase, and clients will be excited to do business with such a positive company. By treating employees as equals, and praising them all for the hard work they’ve done, employees will continue to work as a cohesive team.