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5 tips for reducing gossip in the office

Posted on April 30th, 2015 Read time: 2 minutes

Although gossip can be completely innocent in the beginning, it can eventually hurt feelings and damage reputations. According to the University of Virginia's Health System Faculty and Employee Assistance Program, workplace gossip may even cause good employees to leave the company. As an employer, it is your job to keep gossip under control in your organization. Here are five tips for reducing gossip in the office:

  1. Establish guidelines in employee handbook
    If you want your employees to understand the negative consequences of workplace gossip, it is essential to list guidelines about it in an employee handbook, according to HR Hero. For example, if the guidelines state that spreading rumors that are slanderous can result in disciplinary action, such as termination, your staff members may think twice about gossiping.
  2. Offer an open door policy
    From day one, you should make it clear to your employees that your door is always open. If your staff members know that they can talk to you about anything, they will be more likely to address gossiping problems in the workplace. Also, keep everything confidential. If an employee finds out that you told other people in the office about your conversation, she will be less likely to come to you about problems in the future.
  3. Set a good example
    You can't expect your staff members to avoid gossiping if you are spreading rumors about co-workers in the break room. If you gossip about others in the workplace, your employees will think that is acceptable conduct. Model the behavior you wish to see in the office.
  4. Confront gossipers 
    It is important to directly confront employees who have been spreading gossip. Address them one-on-one in a private room where other workers can't hear the conversation. Tell the person that his behavior has a negative impact on his co-workers and must be stopped immediately. Let him know that disciplinary action will be taken if he continues the behavior.
  5. Make sure employees are busy
    If your staff members don't have enough work to do, they may become bored and start gossiping for entertainment. Make sure your employees always have enough tasks to do throughout the day.

Workplace gossip can be toxic, so it is critical to take steps to minimize it. If you follow these helpful tips, you can reduce office gossip and create a better atmosphere at work. 

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