The 3 best ways to stop employee rumors

Tips for internal communicators who must address alleged layoffs, company takeovers, and other erroneous topics in the office rumor mill.

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I don’t spend my days trolling wikiHow for professional tips, but I did stumble across one article, “How to stop rumors,” that is for internal communicators who often need to address layoffs, management shake-ups, plant closings, mergers, and a whole host of scuttlebutt that may or may not involve material information.

Here are three tips to shut down rumors within your workforce:

1. Determine what’s feeding the rumor, and stop it.

The smallest things often fuel the biggest gossip. I remember one organization where, very suddenly, everyone became convinced a competitor was taking over the company and changing the name to its own. This was all because three letters in the company’s name had blown off the building’s main entrance the night before.

At another firm, people started whispering about impending layoffs because leaders were conducting more discussions behind closed doors.

The solutions? Fix the sign, and tell your executives to get out of their offices.

2. Never play dumb.

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