The Gyroscope: A New Model and What it Means for Workplace Gossip

by on June 30, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Workplace gossip after the pyramid age

Some long-term managers will tell stories of how management used to be much more fun. A manager could hide up at the top of the corporate ladder, at the top of the business pyramid. There were tremendous advantages. Private parking spots, private entrance into the building, private elevator up to your office, private silent-flush toilet. A manager didn’t even have to go to the bathroom with employees. A manager did not have to eat with employees, sit with employees, converse with employees, or use the same kitchen as employees.

Those days are pretty much gone. Whereas that old model, the pyramid had very few at the top who were vastly outnumbered by the many employees making up the bottom. Business today is more of a gyroscope. Although some big corporations are still pyramids, the recent focus on speed has introduced this gyroscope, this constantly shifting, changing, circling body. In speed people began working closer and closer together, working to solve problems as quickly and possible and getting more done, more production.

This kind of working together, this gyroscope causes conflict, because a group of people working together on the same projects tends to do that. This ignites and spreads workplace gossip and negativity. Workplace gossip is especially cutting in the gyroscope model because people are so thrown together now at work and are attempting to get things done so quickly, and everyone is working hard. There is no time in people’s business lives for drama and frivolities. There is no time for workplace gossip. And managers, especially, have no time to be dealing with difficult employees when they are working so closely beside them.

When workplace gossip does arise, however, the gyroscope introduces a new manner of dealing with it. Because employees are working so closely with management, there is no longer a responsibility hierarchy like there used to be. This is crucial in the idea that those employees, those difficult people and spreaders of workplace gossip, have to be held accountable for their own actions. Managers are no longer the masters, controllers. They can hold employees accountable for their actions even at what was once the bottom of the pyramid.

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

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