It's Up To You To Determine How Much Office Gossip Is Too Much

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

Find The Line Between Constructive and Destructive Office Gossip

Where is the line between constructive and destructive? Well, you decide. It’s your company. It’s your unit. You can create it even if you’re part of a big operation. You can create an oasis that protects and keeps out negative office gossip. Those of you in big bureaucratic companies, there are bosses there even frontline supervisors with reputations and employees will tell you, “I want to work for that guy.”

And on the other side, some of you says, “I want out of that unit. I don’t want to work for him.” HR knows who these managers are. You may know who they are. You may have worked for them. But the tolerance level now is just not there.

If you want to get a handle on office gossip from this generation perspective, watch The Office TV show. The kids love this show because it’s so over the top. Now, old timers like me, it’s kind of scary. I can only watch it so often because I see, “Oh, I’ve had that idiot boss. Oh, yeah, I’ve worked next to that dweeb. I work next to that – oh, my gosh.” It’s too close to home.

Now, what does this mean? When these kids come into the workplace and if they see this kind of behavior, they’re either going to be part of the problem. They’re just going to laugh at it or they’re going to leave. They’re going to say, “Boy, life’s too short. I don’t want to be part of a bad TV sitcom.” Actually, it’s not bad but it’s kind of like the CEO that doesn’t get Dilbert. If you’re a CEO and you don’t get Dilbert, you are Dilbert.

Communicate expectations, holding people accountable again, not complicated just hard work. And it really gets back to some of the basics. I want to create an atmosphere where office gossip doesn’t turn destructive. I mean stuff is going to happen but that it doesn’t eat away the unit.

As managers, if we create an atmosphere where good behavior is rewarded, where a limited amount of office gossip is tolerated but there is a line and people know where the line is, then we’ve gone a long way to alleviating the issue.

I will tell you too as managers, we get the employees we deserve. You know, sometimes we inherit a group or we’re merging or there’s restructuring. You know, give it six, eight months. But in the long run, we get the employees we deserve.

Edited Remarks from “Gossip, Gab, and the Grapevine: How to Neutralize Its Negative Impact” by Hunter Lott

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.