As you walk to your desk, you find three of your colleagues engaging in smiley chitchat. Suddenly, after noticing your presence, the gossip guru calls off the meeting, and everyone goes to their desk. How would that feel?
Such is what gossip does to a team. It brews animosity, erodes confidence and morale of the workforce, and ultimately results in dwindling productivity. Gossiping at the workplace must be eliminated if an organization is to rise to the standards it aspires to.
Before thinking about eliminating gossip, it is imperative to understand why people are gossiping in your team. Don’t just dismiss it by saying it is all about that gossip girl; it could be more profound than it seems.
Here are several factors that could water the crop of gossip in your company:
- Fear, when the leadership is tyrannical, the subordinates are more likely to gossip about them as compared to a personable leadership.
- Breakdown of communication, gossip thrives in an environment of poor communication.
- Deprofessionalization of the work environment, this lack of professional ethics fuels gossiping in the workplace.
- Favoritism at work may make some employees to feel left out and may become gossipers to attract attention.
Ways of eliminating gossip in the workplace
These are foolproof strategies that will weed out backbiting and gossiping in your workplace.
- Assertive communication in your team.
Create an environment where everyone feels free to air their views and dissatisfaction with any aspect. When people talk out issues, then whispers and rumors will evaporate.
2. Open leadership
Opaque leadership leads to the detachment of the employees. Transparency will create a sense of ownership by the employees eliminating the need to talk behind the back of their leaders.
3. Firm professional ethics and conduct
Ensure that your team conducts themselves within the realm of ethics and acceptable code of conduct. Dampen and ban the formation of workplace factions.
4. Invest in team bonding activities
To eliminate gossip; you need to invest in team bonding training and forums. Through such forums and training, you can foster camaraderie, synergy, and synchrony in your team. Training erases animosity between colleagues reducing the motivation for gossiping.
Avoid creating division through favoritism. Don’t breed sacred cows in the workplace. Be fair to all your employees and let them feel valued and important to your organizations.
In a nutshell, gossiping erodes staff morale, creates acrimony between colleagues, and inhibits elite productivity from your team. In extreme situations, it leads to staff turnover. Why don’t you move with speed, weed this weed out of your garden before it smoothers your plants?