Business performance will trump workplace gossip

by on June 29, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

The impact of an employee’s workplace gossip has to be measured against their bottom line performance

Does their performance outweigh their workplace gossip? What’s being rewarded, what’s their motivation for change?

There may come a time where the scale between the impact of workplace gossip and business performance tips. And as a manager, you say, “That’s it. I don’t care how talented they were. I don’t care how much they sell. They’re detrimental to the team.” And once that scale kind of tips, then I’ve kind of got to freaking to go to the employee and say, “Hey, this behavior has got to stop.”

Go after the behavior like workplace gossip
Adults are just emotions in bigger packages. You’ve got an employee that whines. This is the behavior that drives us crazy. Okay, so go after the whining.

Confront the employee and say, “Hey, no more whining.” “What do you mean whining?” “That’s what I mean. The noise comes out of your nose in a high pitch sound with ING on the end of every word.”

“Well, you’re picking on me.” “Yes, I am. You’re the worst whiner I’ve got.” “Well, I do my job.” “No, that’s what we’re saying. We’re saying at least 50% of your job is your ability to get along with coworkers and most importantly, me. The whining has got to stop.” “Well, that’s discrimination.” “Yes it is, against whiners.” “Well, that’s against the law.” “No, it’s not. Whiners, not on the list.”

Bad behaviors like workplace gossip are not protected
If you look at the list of protected group is age, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, they’re not on the list. Even my friends in California, not on the list. We don’t have to put up with the whining. And I get managers with all the, “You’re going to write them up for whining?” Yeah, don’t write them up for attitude, write them up for whining.

How do you write them up? Noise comes out of nose in high pitch sound, with ING in the end of every word. “Well, that’s so petty.” It is petty. But that’s what’s driving us crazy.

Most people do not get fired because of their performance. They get fired because of their behavior. So go after the behavior like workplace gossip. Part of dealing with the gossip, gab and grapevine is acknowledgement of – out of attitude subjective to objective behavior. Here’s what’s you’re doing that’s driving us crazy.

New generations at work wont put up with negative behaviors like workplace gossip

In the past, we’ve said well, just wait until their attitude affects their performance. Some people though, even if you raise the performance bar, they just do enough to get by. We could be talking decades. I’m not going to wait decades.

“No. Well, the moaning has got to stop.” “You can’t fire me for moaning.” I had a CEO who was so great; he walked up to the guy and said, “Yes, I can.” We honestly put up with way too much of this. One thing about this generation, they’re just not going to tolerate this.

These new employees, they look around. And they say, “You know, if it’s not a good working environment, if I’m not engaged, I’m just not going to stay.” And we say, “Well, you can’t leave. You got to build your resume. You can’t leave for a couple of years.” See, they just don’t believe it which is really forcing us to do our jobs.

One thing about really all four generations, when you ask them about work, they say, “I want to be a part of something special.” Our obligation, those of us in management, is to confront these issues of behavior and say we’re just not going to tolerate this.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute conference Gossip, Gab, and the Grapevine: How to Neutralize its Negative Impact by Hunter Lott

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