Gossip does not do anybody any good, and it does plenty of bad, in your workplace. Careers get damaged, teams get wrecked, and people’s attention gets diverted from their work. For employees who really need to be thinking about what they are doing, gossip gets pretty distracting.
You may think it’s fun to go to the person who knows everything about everyone and see what’s up, but remember, anyone who gossips TO you will gossip ABOUT you.
The first step in limiting gossip is to create a culture of mutual respect. Discuss this with employees, emphasizing the positive atmosphere of your workplace and the benefits of working with people you respect. Do not present it as “be nice or you will get fired,” but instead put it in a positive light.
Be sure, of course, that if you are talking that talk, you are walking that walk. Do not be publicly negative, try not to criticize people in front of others, and do not be a gossip yourself.
If you have an employee who is spreading gossip, step in and make the point that it is unprofessional. You do not need to do it in a harsh way, you could even try to make a little joke about it, but get the message across that it is unprofessional. Let them know that nothing hurts your workplace quite like employees who act like they are 12 years old. Anything you can do that makes them think about what they are doing should help.
Recommended for You
The views and opinions expressed within the pages of the HoosNetwork are those of UVA alumni bloggers and are not necessarily representative of, or approved by, the University of Virginia. Posting an article to HoosNetwork is not an endorsement.
The University of Virginia prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any classification protected by local, state, or federal law.