One of the biggest challenges in offices, manufacturing plants, and retail establishments is employee gossip. It robs employee productivity, harms leadership, generates poor communication, and lowers morale. According to pollster Equisys, the average productivity loss attributed to gossip is 65 hours annually.
Gossip about co-workers or supervisors is very prominent. Other common topics of gossip are rumours relating to downsizing, promotions, or buy-outs.
Sam Chapman, CEO of Chicago’s Empower Public Relations, has hit the problem head-on with his new book, “A No-Nonsense Guide to a Healthy, High-Performing Work Environment”. The insightful book offers practical ideas designed to turn a gossiping workplace into productive workplaces where employees have fun, accept coworker’s differences, and are empowered to perform at their best.
Chapman perfected the No Gossip Zone concept at Empower Public Relations and fine-tuned it to the point his employees rave about the results.
Chapman’s four steps to conquering office gossip
Based on his experiences creating a gossip-free office he shares these four basic tips:
- Define gossip so that all employees understand what it is. Chapman believes some employees gossip without realizing they are gossiping. This expands the view many have that gossiping is simply saying negative things about individuals or situations.
- Listen to gossip in yourself. If you dwell on gossip you have heard or frequently think negative or hurtful thoughts about others, Chapman wants you to consider if you are contributing to the problem.
- Be honest. Using authentic, open, and honest communication is an effective way to curb gossip. Assessment tools are available to help you determine your inner feelings to open communication. One tool, The Johari Window, helps an individual understand if they communicate openly or if they are more prone to hiding details about themselves.
- Confess to those about whom you have gossiped. If you have gossiped or thought about gossiping about an individual, go to them and confess it. This gives you the chance to build a relationship while reducing the workplace gossip.
Chaman’s book is now available at most major bookstores.