There is nothing worse than a culture that is underhanded, clicky and where some workers excel in passive aggressive behaviours including being great at gossip.
Sadly this can not only come from workers; but management and if left unchecked will eventually destroy the organisation.
Oh, come on – destroy the organisation?
That’s a bit steep isn’t it?
No not really. Because what happens in these types of cultures, is that good people leave, and bad people stay.
So ultimately your efficiency, quality; work ethic; reputation, everything good reduces.
It is fine to say “we have a strong culture, here at XYZ company”. But is that a strong functional or strong dysfunctional culture?
Do you see what is going on, but seem to be powerless to stop it? Have you turned a blind eye?
Not to mention the legalities of potential bullying and harassment cases, the days when managers can instigate or turn a blind eye are gone!
How do you actually stop gossip? Do not give it an environment to grow in!
Just like a plant, if you don’t give it water, it will die. So make the environment difficult for it to prosper and grow. Yes, but how?
Here is your 10 Step Plan:
- Step 1: Make sure you have some policies around Code of Conduct; Bullying; Harassment etc. in place;
- Step 2: Make sure those policies have strong wording about behaviours that you are experiencing and specifically about making unfounded allegations or comments;
- Step 3: Ensure you have collected signatures from workplace participants who have read, understood and agree to abide with all policies;
- Step 4: Have your line managers talk about these policies in weekly team meetings to communicate to all that these are living, breathing policies and management take them seriously;
- Step 5: Train your managers to deal with gossip in the workplace; how to respond to workers who bring gossip or spread it;
- Step 6: Discipline workers who engage in undesirable behaviour;
- Step 7: Train all workplace participants how to react and what to say when faced with gossip;
- Step 8: Find root causes for dissention and gossip and treat the root cause;
- Step 9: Communicate to all that gossip and 3rd party information will not be tolerated;
- Step 10: Focus and praise positive behaviours that contribute to a strong functional culture
Finally, Lead by example – do not aid, abet, create or engage in gossip or negativity and do all you can to create the positive culture you wish you had!
Make your workplace a place, where the germ of negativity does not have an environment to grow in.
Value all your staff, be fair and equitable to all.
For more HR or staffing help contact CIRCLE Recruitment & HR or call 1300 923 000
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