Your employees didn’t sign up to be on a season of Gossip Girl or The Office. Instead, they signed up to work in a positive environment away from gossip or petty workplace drama. But, gossip happens in nearly every company.
Any gossip can be bad, but unchecked gossip can prove to be detrimental to your company. Gossip can lead to the gradual decline of trust, morale, and productivity all while spiking up stress and tension.
As a leader, you need to put your foot down and stomp out workplace gossip. Don’t know where to start? Below, Millennium Omaha will cover 4 practical methods to stomp out workplace gossip today!
Establish A Zero-Tolerance Gossip Policy
A zero-tolerance gossip policy is your strongest weapon against petty workplace drama. This policy means that all gossip – regardless of severity or type – is punished equally, and there are absolutely no exemptions. Adopting a zero-tolerance policy will sway potential offenders from trying anything, and lays the expectations out front for new employees.
In your policy, it’s important to clearly define gossip in order to prevent loopholes and general confusion. You’ll also want to define the circumstances for spreading gossip.
Lead By Example
This is straightforward, so we’ll keep it short. If you gossip, you’re giving your employees the green light to gossip too. If you need to vent, do it in the comforts of your own home. Talk to somebody who doesn’t work for or has a connection to your company.
Maintain an Open Door Policy
Simply put, an open-door policy means every manager’s door is open to every employee. In the case that an employee needs to discuss or disclose information about workplace gossip, the option should be available. An open-door policy shows your employees that you care about their needs and want to be kept in the loop. If there’s gossip happening, you should know about it.
Tip: This strategy works best if employees already feel comfortable sharing information with you. Be proactive and catch up with employees regularly to make them feel at ease.
Have a Team Meeting
Be proactive and gather your team for a meeting surrounding the topic of gossip. Outline any company policies against gossip, explain its negative effects, and how employees can reach out for help.
It is important that you do not call out or name anyone during this meeting. Instead, it is important to get into the specifics in private.