- Legal Liability Claims Increased
- Defamation Claims
- Large Employee Turnover
- Harassment or Discrimination Claims against the company and guilty employee
- Company secrets shared with outside parties
- Lost productive hours
- Spending more money on training new employees
- Depression of targeted employees
- Absenteeism increases
- Office Tension rises
- Stressful Work Environment
- Good employees dread coming to work
Monday, July 13, 2015
When starting a new job there will always be some employees who will insist on filling you in on workplace gossip. Gossip is the seed to all rumors, and it’s germinated by telling others; becomes an unwise and unprofessional practice. A new employee may become overwhelmed feeling akin to falling in a pit of vipers hissing negative, malicious words; until overtaxed eardrums wants to mute out the offensive gossip.
This is where a shrewd manager will be monitoring the training of a new employee. And, do not be surprised if this does not happen in your training.
Most managers are naïve to the fact their most trusted trainer is the office gossip who fuels rumors with updates like the news media with the boss as the main subject.
By now you are asking yourself how she knows this happens; because it has happened to me---twice in training. I found the wisest thing to do is accidentally on purpose interrupted with a work related question; while I made a note to never listen to this woman’s gossiping tidbits when training was over.
I remember thinking at one point if this was the right company for me---when she went on habitually talking about nearly everyone in the company except her close friends; whom I found out later did not really like her. I felt sad and embarrassed for her then; at the same time chastising my soft heart for feelings I often have for others undeserving of them.
At the end of training my new boss came in to ask how everything was going; so I answered in a professional manner that I had acquired the basic knowledge of my duties to fulfill my job. She seemed pleased by my answer and told me my trainer was her most trusted employee. I cringed silently, learning long ago that someone like my new boss would need to find out on her own about her employee. And, a few years later she did.
After my training, the spreader of rumors came in my office while I was on an important phone call and said in my other ear someone was getting fired today. Then, she left like a puff of smoking gossip to the next person.
When the opportunity occurred I told her if I could not say something positive about someone I did not speak at all. She looked at me as if I had grown another head and walked out of my office and did not speak to me for two weeks. I enjoyed those two weeks as the “Power Seeker” continued without damaging my ears and turning my stomach.
Afterwards, she never said another negative word to me about anyone. And, don’t think for one minute she stopped her rumor train because other rode it with her.
One day I caught her listening through the boss’ closed door while she was talking to another employee. When she got enough gossip she shared her knowledge with others as I watched her flit from one to the other like a hummingbird searching for nectar. Remember to be wary of the gossiper they only want a bone to carry with your name on it.
Are you wondering why I didn’t tell the boss about her eavesdropping because I found out when an employee told her anything she made a big production out of it my calling in the other party which led to a shouting match. This was so unprofessional, that I blocked it out of my mind and put my full attention on my duties.
Possible Results from Office Gossip:
A tip to new employees when caught in a workplace where office gossip is rampant:
· Never listen to gossip.
· Never add to the gossip.
· State as kindly as possible that you only speak in a positive manner about anyone.
· If you cannot say something nice---do not speak.
· Communicate in a professional manner with other employees and you will be surprise when others start to emulate you.
· When other employees find out you do not gossip your workplace ambiance will improve.
Note to Employers: Be cautious about implementing the “No Gossip” rule in your policies and procedures. Review with the company attorney and check the information with The National Labor Relations Board to keep your company legally correct.