Low communication kindles office gossip

To stifle gossip in the workplace, a supervisor must create an environment where there are no surprises. To do this, he or she must frequently communicate with their employers about their performance and the company’s plans.

Supervisors should talk to their employees about their performance often. Many supervisors have a serious conversation with their employees only once a year. No wonder both management and employees equally hate evaluations. A good employee should know that they are good because they are told frequently. A bad employer should know that they are not doing as well as they could be.

People report they are happy with their companies when they are spoken to by their immediate supervisor every seven days. Happy employees have less reason to gossip in the workplace. If a supervisor wants to cut down on the negative effects of office gossip, he or she must control the atmosphere of the workplace and therefore the gossip in the workplace. Communication, even a thank you note, something to touch base with a good employee is very important.

Also, gossip in the workplace often stems from office rumors, and the more a supervisor can do to stop rumors, the more he or she is doing to stop office gossip. Communication on a regular basis, regular newsletters, a morning meeting—something consistent that employees can count on can keep them happy in their environment. A message from senior management saying, “Here’s where we’re going, this is what’s happening, this is what we’re working through, here are my office hours…” give the big picture to employees, a sense of where everything’s going, of what they are working for, tends to settle office gossip down.

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

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