Workplace Gossip: Policies Needed?

Is workplace gossip, “a form of warfare that [brings] everyone down,” as suggested in a recent article in the New York Times? Or as local blogger Michelle Goodman responded, might such gossip also be a force for good that can show people in a good light, clue employees into office undercurrents, or tip everyone off to changes coming down the pike?

In my experience, some workplace gossip is inevitable, but when it rises above a certain level, it is pretty much all bad.  A workplace that is rife with gossip usually means employees who are tense, unhappy, and less productive.  The “office undercurrents” being discussed are rarely positive and the “tip offs” are often inaccurate.

For this reason, excessive workplace gossip shouldn’t be left untreated.  Management may need to increase its communication (of accurate information) to employees, counsel serious offenders, and determine what other problems are creating a poor workplace culture.  Managers and supervisors may also need to examine their own behaviors to see how they are contributing to the problem. 

If it’s bad enough, maybe your organization wants to adopt something like the No Gossip Policy created by Professional Pride Training Co, Inc.  The policy has employees sign a document in which they agree to take several anti-gossip actions.  I particularly like number 6: “I will mind my own business, do good work, be a professional adult and expect the same from others.” 

For more on the advantages of a no gossip policy, see a recent article by HR blogger Susan M. Heathfield. She writes that some companies even terminate employees for violations.

Might there be reasons not to adopt an anti-gossip policy? ~AS

8 responses to “Workplace Gossip: Policies Needed?

  1. Pingback: Just Words? Back at Work « Just Words?

  2. This sometimes needs to be done to shut the ones up that take it a step too far and try to ruin peoples lives with Idol goss……. Bullying in the work place needs to be stopped when it crosses the line and these people need to be reported to management!!!!!! It’s no different to bullying in schools and doesn’t affect just one person. Please stop it and think of the innocent people/children involved!

  3. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

    • Workplace Insiders

      You could try putting a copyright sign on your stuff. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you could do but write angry notes to plagiarists and then sue them! ~Amy Stephson

  4. Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my
    own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    • Workplace Insiders

      Hi Marion–Yes, our blog is on WordPress. Setting up a blog on WordPress does not involve any coding, just using the tools on the site. You first choose a template and then take it from there. I would suggest that you go there and just dive in! ~Amy Stephson

  5. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to
    start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

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