Workplace Gossip


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Workplace Gossip

  1. 1. Yu Gao<br />Katie Shimmel<br />Nichole Cloud<br />Brandon Keen<br />Gossip in the Workplace<br />The following essay is a case study that discusses the negative effects of workplace gossip. Our firm Working Together, Incorporated is a privately owned recruiting company that works with other organizations in order to create a more productive and happier workplace. <br />Working Together, Incorporated has used archival research to investigate the problems at Bliss Cosmetics and has created solutions to their gossip problems within their workplace environment. We have always felt that gossip has been an issue in companies across the world but now we realize the magnitude of this problem. Through the use of the Internet and articles we accumulated many examples of the negative repercussions that result from workplace gossip. <br />Gossip in the workplace refers to talk between co-workers, managers and executives about work-related matters to someone who cannot do anything about the issue. <br /> It is important to note that even when gossip is not malicious it still can and usually does have negative consequences .The following is a list of negative events that are caused, or can arise due to gossip in the workplace. <br />Workplace gossip negatively affects: <br />Workplace camaraderie <br />Workplace morale<br />Teamwork <br />Communication <br />Vertical and horizontal organization communication: <br />Ex1: Team leader with members<br />Ex2: Manager with employees<br />Efficiency <br />Increase resentment <br />Increase insecurity, anxiety<br />Lost productivity and wasted time<br />Increases diversity<br />Employees feel that they must pick a side.<br />Hurt reputation or feelings <br />Those who gossip may have less chance for advancement in the firm<br />Decreases professionalism <br />Decreases overall atmosphere of the organization <br />From our research we found that many individuals who start or participate in gossip have low self-esteem. Those individuals also have strong need to “fit in” in addition to needing some sort of control. However, gossiping does not improve the individual’s problems, in fact it makes them worse. Workplace gossip can be looked at as either a gift or a weapon. Those who use it as a weapon are not acting in the best interest of the company; conversely, those who use workplace gossip to enhance a co-worker’s reputation can be viewed as an asset to the firm. <br />Working Together, Incorporated has developed several ways to reduce gossip in the workplace. As one can imagine, establishing and enforcing the following suggestions is not an easy task. Nevertheless, it is essential in building and establishing a great company. <br />Ways to reduce workplace gossip:<br />Deal with company issues head-on <br />Dealing with questions about layoffs, new hiring, work ethic etc. will reduce the employees urge to discuss such issues, which in turn will reduce untrue rumors. <br />Stop gossip from the highest administrators to the lowest level worker<br />It is imperative that a leader is in favor of this concept in order for it to work properly. <br />Install a zero tolerance policy on gossip<br />Remind one another not to gossip<br />Create an environment that supports non-gossiping activities as the norm.<br />Encourage the “gossiper” to discuss his or her problem with an individual that has the power to change his or her problem<br />Craft an open-door managing style <br />Make employees and other co-workers aware that you are not interested in participating in gossip <br />If co-workers do not stop gossiping then remove yourself from the discussion.<br />Management should pin-point those who gossip and discuss his or her issue with the organization<br />This must be done directly. <br />Keep employees as informed as possible<br />Encourage positive communication <br />Between both co-worker to co-worker and management to employees.<br />Hold a group discussion about how people feel about gossip or being subject to the negative talk<br />Before engaging in gossiping activities employees should ask themselves the following questions:<br />Is what I am about to say true?<br />Is the statement I’m about to make harmless?<br />Is it necessary to say?<br />How would I feel if someone said this about me?<br />How am I going to feel later if I say this?<br />Overall, if you do not do something about gossip in the workplace then you are simply “fueling the fire”. This method will help no one, especially the organization. Furthermore, it is imperative to remember that gossip cannot exist without communicating it to someone. A proactive choice would be to reward co-workers and employees on a regular basis so they do not feel the need to gossip. A simple pat on the back or a financial reward is used in many firms to allow greater satisfaction among the employees. <br />All in all, workplace gossip is a very real and destructive problem in many organizations. Thankfully, the gossip can be reduced through positive discussion and enforcing the appropriate steps to erasing workplace gossip.<br />References<br />“Gossip in the Workplace”. Nov. 2009.“Workplace Gossip”. “Dealing with Gossip”. “Preventing Gossip in the Workplace”. Nov. 2008.“Gossip in the Workplace: A Weapon or Gift?”. 2009.<br />