In any office, there will be people who seem to have the latest information about the personal and professional lives of their coworkers. From your supervisor’s affair to the admin person’s promotion, they know it all. That’s not it- they are keen on passing this information on to other colleagues for an inexplicable reason.
If you are surrounded by gossipmongers who keep spreading rumors at work, then as a manager, it’s your responsibility to create a pleasant work environment. To do exactly that, here is what you can do:
Consider Providing Clear and Candid Information Instantly
When management is considering making certain changes in the workplace culture, gossip is likely to spread at a faster pace during such times. If you are a part of management, you need to keep in mind that silence from management on the expected changes and any work-related issues can lead to rumors and curiosity among employees. Therefore, it is your responsibility as a manager to avoid withholding information from employees.
It is not fair to share information with just those you have known for a long time. Keeping it private is not the right thing to do, as the employees will eventually find out about it. Make sure that you do what’s required to create an environment of trust and transparency as well. By doing so, you are likely to gain the trust of employees in no time.
Set an Example for Your Team Members
If you are wondering how you can deal with gossip effectively as a manager, then let us tell you that you can do so just by being a positive role model for the employees to follow. Learn the art of being assertive. Never participate in rumors and try walking away as soon as someone starts gossiping.
Don’t make the mistake of criticizing your boss in front of staff. If you spread any rumor about the leadership, you are indirectly communicating to others is that this kind of behavior is acceptable in your organization.
Even if workplace gossip may seem harmless, it can hurt employees’ morale. In addition to that, your employee’s productivity may end up decreasing. A responsible manager knows how to communicate with the employees and address rumors at the right time.
Ignore the Gossipmongers
There is only one way to not become a part of gossip: Avoiding Gossipmongers. They not only thrive on attention but also prey on inviting ears. If there is a gossipmonger who is willing to pass a “juicy story” on to you, make sure you just keep it yourself. As a leader, you should be responsible enough to act with integrity.
If you see that a gossipmonger is coming close to your workstation to talk to you, make it obvious to them that you are preoccupied with your work (as you are supposed to be). When you let them know that you are too busy to listen to what they have to say, they’ll go away. There are times when you are done with work and waiting for your commute. That’s when such people could bother you but the best thing to do during your free time is to catch up on your favorite show. Cable and internet bundles are a primary prerequisite to enjoy buffer-free streaming,
Offer a Solution
People usually gossip out of frustration or Boredom. If someone talks negatively about a coworker in front of you, it could be because of some misunderstanding. In some cases, the gossiper could have a legitimate issue. In such a situation, what you can do is acknowledge their frustration. In addition to that, you can offer them the solution they need.
Let’s just suppose a colleague comes to you and complains, “XYZ asks so many irrelevant questions. I think that he/she is an attention seeker. I can’t focus on work when they do so”. Here’s what you can respond to this: “That could undoubtedly decrease your productivity. But chances are, XYZ is not doing it intentionally. I feel like you should communicate this to them.”
All in All…
While firing gossipmongers is an option, consider using the aforementioned tips to handle workplace gossip. If you succeed in eliminating gossip in the workplace, your employees’ productivity will automatically improve.