“Pssst. You’ll never guess what Lucy just said.”
Sound travels in a cubicle farm.
Workers overhear colleagues making dental appointments, having marital spats, and discussing layoff rumors. The question is: what do they do with the information they hear? Does your corporate culture condone gossip?
Employees need to understand that rumors can “permanently damage professional images.” Busybodies who blabber about other people’s affairs derail their own careers.
Before sharing a juicy tidbit, people need to ask themselves:
- Will discussing this information distract people from the work at hand?
- Could this tasty morsel damage morale or someone’s reputation?
- Does it “cross the line into harassment?”
If yes, folks need to keep their mouths shut.
A recent post from NWI.com offers eight tips for keeping workplace gossip under control. My favorite: “Managers should quickly reveal decisions such as office reallocation, promotions, and layoffs. If management does not provide the information, the gossip mill will start spinning.” Also, “managers should inform employees that malicious gossip is not tolerated.”
Here’s the complete list. What advice would you add?