Workplace gossip creates a culture of doubt | Sunday Observer

Workplace gossip creates a culture of doubt

The operating environment is getting tougher for everyone, testing every single employees ability and mind-set more than ever before, demanding the very best to stay afloat.

Employees who have failed to deliver results and being questioned for poor results or performance discipline would have negative energy showered on others to justify their weaknesses.

This is a very common trait in organisations and it can create a negative workplace climate. When left unchecked, it can threaten organisational culture and effectiveness and can lead to loss of productivity and good employee morale.

Creating a positive workplace culture free of undesirable behaviour by employees is essential for truly performance oriented workforce.

Gossip is rampant in most workplaces. Sometimes, it seems as if people have nothing better to do than gossip about each other. They talk about the company, their co-workers, their managers – the real list is unimaginable. They frequently take a partial truth and turn it into a whole speculative truth.

Lunch room talk, exchange of emails or new instant messaging on your computer, corridor talks or even wash room chats provide good breeding grounds for this bad behavior that doesn’t help anyone.

Domino effect

Gossip is what transforms a culture of recognition into a culture of doubt, which results in an unpleasant domino effect: decreased productivity and employee morale-especially for the good employees.

Some might say this is natural human behavior. I agree. It’s natural, that it exists. But, is it acceptable? No. Not if you want to build a high-performing and sustainable business and one that has engaged employees and engaged customers at its heart to deliver results.

The key is to know when the gossip is out-of-hand. You need to act if the gossip is: disrupting the work place and the business of work, hurting employees’ feelings, damaging interpersonal relationships, or affects employee motivation and morale beyond tolerable levels.

No-nonsense culture

If you assertively deal with gossip, you will create a work culture and environment that does not support gossip - one that really promotes efficiency.

If you are fretting about how to build a more engaged workforce, how about asking yourself if you see evidence of politics, cliques, gossip, in-fighting, jealousy and people talking about each other rather than to each other in your work place.

If you do, then perhaps ridding your company of this type of behaviour is a good place to start with. No amount of good and adequate work in other areas is going to make up for a toxic culture.

This has to be tackled in isolation. True, we have all been subject to gossip at work and is almost impossible to avoid – until you realise how harmful gossip threatens corporate culture, and eventually transforms the workplace into a culture of doubt – and must be reconciled in order for employees to drive results necessary for the organisation’s success.

Time for a culture reboot? Check and see how much value your business losses as a result of this toxic cultural element mostly promoted by a few bad employees but these few can upset the whole rhythm of an organisation; hence you cannot ignore. 

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