Employees may no longer crowd the water cooler to catch up on the latest office gossip, however, negative rumors still run rampant in the workplace today.
Gossip among coworkers neither increases productivity nor improves workplace morale. It may seem like a petty problem, but managers and business owners should pay attention to the possibility of major legal and financial consequences of even the smallest rumor. HRHero.com points out that although gossip should not support a worker’s compensation claim, it could very well provide key evidence of other unlawful conduct, such as harassment or discrimination—increasing your exposure to legal liability.
Rumors have the potential to affect more than a person and his/her credibility. Consider the implications of a rumor about budget cuts or staffing changes—it won’t take much to make your employees nervous enough to consider jumping ship. Gossip can easily foster mistrust and uneasiness between management and staff.
Does your business have a strong HR professional who can implement policies and procedures to manage gossip before it gets out of hand? Fredricia Cunegin, CEO of HRinMotion, LLC, encourages managers to address negative office rumors and gossip head on and incorporate HR policies that align with dissuading employees from talking negatively about each other or the company.
“Gossip, a negative behavioral trait of spreading unfavorable images of others, is not a constructive team building tool, and should not be tolerated in the workplace.” -Fredricia Cunegin
HRinMotion, LLC specializes in employee creativity and compliance, organizational support services and employee communications. The company also addresses talent acquisition—another important element when mitigating the harmful impacts of office gossip. The hiring process can reveal rumor “fire starters,” but sometimes it requires the observation of a third party who is indifferent to internal norms, and has the ability to work with a sense of urgency, and objectivity to assist you to bring resolve and stay focused.
Protect the infrastructure of your business by connecting with a human resource management (HRM) consultant who knows how to support your HR function while helping to move the business forward.