When Enough is Enough With Office Rumors

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

Two signs the office rumors won’t stop

Sometimes, an employee’s misbehavior or office rumors will come to a point when a manager has to say, that’s it. When should a manager know that enough is enough, that something must be done? This does not necessarily mean fire an employee, because sometimes firing is impossible. But, a manager should not waste energy—wasting so much time and energy on an employee with an unproductive work cycle is detrimental to your own work, to the company, to the productivity of your team, and to the good employees that are not receiving the attention that they actually deserve. Many managers ignore their good employees because they know that they can count on them. They just quietly do their job. How do you know that you are wasting your time trying to fix a difficult employee?

Denial. If an employee denies that they are spreading negativity, office rumors, and bad behavior. No one’s going to work toward a solution to a problem they don’t admit to. You may want to have a conversation to get to the fact that one, there IS a problem and that you can help the employee work on it and solve it. But the denial is the first clue to know maybe when attempting to help is a waste of your time.

Refusal to act. Some employees just love the kind of drama that accompanies office rumors. If an employee goes through six weeks of good behavior after you’ve talked to him abut his behavior, you know that he or she is capable of good workplace behavior. But, if the employee slowly goes back to spreading office rumors, to being difficult and negative, then you know it was a refusal to really act. This is an unproductive work pattern. No matter how long the behavior stops, it’s only a pause to lose the managers attention. Then, the story goes back to where it started, and there are rampant office rumors and negativity again.

Think of employee negativity the way you may think of customer service. If you get a customer complaint—some customers are going to complain. But, if the complaints become a pattern, you look for the problem, the cause of consistent complaints. When dealing with difficult employees, its important to see that if the employee adopts an unproductive work pattern, some action needs to be taken.

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

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