People gossip sometimes. This is part of human nature. However, when people are gossiping within a business or even within a large open plan office, it can make others feel extremely uncomfortable. Of course, it can also lower morale in a big way.
You might think that gossip is harmless. After all, you’re not hurting anyone, right? Well, you might be. It totally depends on what the gossip is about and whether it’s directed at someone. If people are sitting at their office desks, thinking that people are talking about them, that’s going to drastically affect their morale and their mental health.
Even if the gossip isn’t about a person and it’s about something that might be going on within the business, it can cause major anxiety too. Gossip is often wrong; it’s rarely the truth.
So, what can you do to stop office gossip from spreading and causing workplace conflict?
Check out this video for a few ideas.
Gossip is probably one of the biggest workplace problems because it’s seen as not a serious issue. Gossip might be petty but it can be very damaging. By making it clear to your employees that gossip won’t be tolerated, you’re creating the right type of basis on which to stop gossip causing a major problem within the office itself.
Can you ever stop it completely? Probably not. But, what you can do is minimise it and do your best to create a workplace culture that doesn’t welcome gossip.
It seems that nobody likes to be gossiped about, but people like to gossip. You could argue that it’s human nature but as we’ve already explored, it’s a negative habit to have. Gossip often spreads mistruths and causes cliques to occur. When that happens, you’re on a slippery slope downwards.
One suggestion is to have a discussion around the modern boardroom tables at one of your next team meetings. Without pointing the finger or blame or making it clear that you’re aware of gossip, just explore the negative effects that gossip can cause. By doing that, you’re bringing awareness to the problem and helping to reduce, or even stamp out, a problem that has plagued workplaces for years.