Stopping Gossip at Work

Gossip at work is a cancer that must be dealt with.  Do not allow gossip inside of your organization.  If an employee is willing to talk about another employee to you, what are they saying about you to another employee?  If this is an issue you struggle with, here are 5 steps to put a stop to it.

  1. Find the Source(s) - The first step is to determine who inside the company is stirring the pot and discuss it with them.  Having a direct conversation about this is key.  Let them know that reports are getting back to you that there is a lot of gossip at the office and we need to put a stop to it.  Further, let them know it will not be tolerated going forward.
  2. Stop the Gripping - Gripping is just another form of gossip.  If someone is gripping to the accounting person that their computer isn't working, can they even help them?  Probably not, this is taking away from productive work for both people.  Further, nothing destroys the mood faster than negativity.  Set a policy that all problems need to be handed up to their manager and that is it.  Never allow complaining to go on.  Make this well known that it won't be tolerated.
  3. Stop Complaining About Clients - Sometimes it gets lost that clients are the reason we all have jobs.  If someone is complaining about client issues they do not have an attitude of gratitude.  Get this out of the organization.  Warn them this won't be tolerated and if you hear it again get rid of them.
  4. Never Share Confidential Information - We have had this issue with an employee.  They were aware of some possible growth the organization was going to go through and then they shared it with a client without permission.  Problem was by the time they told the client, the decision had already been to not grow at this time so the information was false.  Save some explaining and only share privileged information with people you can trust and who are not talkers.
  5. Be Clear When Hiring - During the interview process, try and figure out if the person is a gossip.  Listen for clues, such as complaints about their former employee, spouse, or family members.  Also, be very clear that gossip isn't allowed and will not be tolerated.