Blog

You Are Here:

Psst! You will NEVER guess what I’ve just heard!

Posted on | Posted in Candidate Profiling

We all love a good gossip, don’t we? The fact that OK, Hello, Take A Break and other magazines like that are so popular is a testament to this. And it’s usually pretty harmless…isn’t it?

But what about gossip in the workplace? Just how damaging is it to morale? What steps can you take to manage it?

managing-office-gossip

The wrong end of the stick…

The Director’s PA, Sue, is talking to Ed from HR at the coffee machine.

“He’s just emailed me about the redundancy announcement and apparently, there’ll be more later this week. Isn’t it terrible news,” Sue sighs.

Sales Exec Chris overhears them and dashes back to his desk, warning his team that their jobs might be at risk…

“Seriously? Who knew that not hitting target last month would have such an impact?” Kerry says.

“Why didn’t management warn us at the monthly kick-off meeting that things were so tight?” adds Craig.

In fact, it’s Sue’s son who is being made redundant in another company, in another town. But one careless whisper like this can echo far beyond the coffee machine.

Rumour has it…

Dave and Kim always seem to be chatting quietly together – must be an affair! No, the real reason is that their kids go to the same under-performing school. Natalie & Gabby love a night out together but they never invite Sian because she’s so shy, so they assume clubbing isn’t her thing. They’re often found whispering by the loos about their crazy weekend antics because they would feel unprofessional talking about it in the office. Poor Sian thinks they’re making fun of her work outfits.

Stopping the gossip train

It’s human to gossip but when that train is at full speed, it can pose a dangerous risk to working relationships and therefore your business. And a fractured team can derail productivity. Rumours can also cause employees to distrust the management team, as well as contributing to a higher staff turnover when affected team members look for jobs elsewhere. What begins as hearsay might even land you in hot water if the gossip becomes so pervasive that it morphs into a malicious harassment claim.

So, how do you tackle these issues?

  • Confront problems as they occur, at the source
  • Address the specific perpetrators individually in a confidential location
  • Help the employee understand the impact of their bad behaviour and the consequences if it continues i.e. written warning that will go into their personnel file, or even dismissal
  • Foster a culture of mutual professionalism and respect within the team by putting the topic of gossip on the team meeting agenda and sharing feelings and ideas about the ramifications of negative gossip
  • Work with your team to change the department culture to one that encourages positive gossip, such as sharing new ideas and interesting stories
  • Model the behaviour you want to see, always leading by example

When it comes to changes within the business, such as restructuring and redundancies, the key is to always keep the workforce informed. Communicate as much information as you can, as early as you can. If staff have the facts and feel involved, rumours are less likely.

Recruit the personalities that fit

If you’ve worked hard to create a trusting, respectful culture in your workplace, the last thing you need is a new member of staff who doesn’t share those values, or who has come from a workplace where negative gossip has been tolerated, to come in and unravel it all.

That’s where Wote Street People candidate profiling can make all the difference in your recruitment process. The candidate just completes a short online assessment, then the results are compiled by the system and analysed by one of our professionally trained profilers. You’ll receive a report like this to help you decide if the candidate is a suitable fit. Want to give it a try? Call us on 01256 799 127 or email maxine@wotestreetpeople.co.uk

Would you be interested in discussing subjects such as this with other local companies? Why not join our Peer Group for local managers and HR staff. Just contact us on 01256 799 127 to find out more. We meet quarterly and previous topics have included Facebook, staff absence, Brexit, and profiling.

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
25 Jul 2018

Educate employers about benefits of older workers

The latest report from the Government’s Women and Equalities Committee says older workers still face discrimination and the recruitment industry’s ‘failure to take more robust action has a significant impact on (their) ability to access work’. Maxine Hart, our Operations Director, has something to say. Valuing best practice The report is pretty damning stuff. But[…..]

Latest Posts
28 Jun 2018

Feeling hot, hot, hot?

Isn’t the weather glorious.  I don’t think anything beats a British heatwave.  It reminds of just how beautiful our country can be.  Granted, it would be more enjoyable if we weren’t all stuck in the office! So, how can we office workers stay cool in office? Here’s a few tips! If you’re luck enough to[…..]

Latest Posts
26 Jun 2018

Here’s what happened when we took on an apprentice…

A little over 18 months ago, we decided it was time to try something new.  Finding people jobs in Basingstoke and surrounding areas, Wote Street People has always grown organically, but after a stagnant 12 months we wanted to initiate a change. How were we going to do this?  Do we just wait for the[…..]

Latest Posts
07 Jun 2018

Proud of our community champion and awards finalist

Maxine Hart, Operations Director at Wote Street People, made the finals of the recent Place to Be Proud of Awards, nominated alongside Lamb Brooks Solicitors and The Champion Group in the Business and the Community category. Following a public vote, Champion was announced as the winner at a ceremony on 6th June at the Haymarket[…..]

Latest Posts
29 May 2018

How to get a summer job in Basingstoke

Whether you’re back in Basingstoke for the summer or you’ve recently left school or college, getting a summer job is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience and earn funds – it can’t be all work and no play! What type of summer job could you get? Hospitality & Events, Production Line, Warehouse, Admin,[…..]