In the last few months I have had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of staff members in various organizations across the land in an effort to assess the current health of their workplace. I am called in with a team of associates to get to the bottom of issues in the workplace because things are not running well and the leadership wants to turn the ship around before it is too late. I love these jobs because I get some real insight into the relationships we have at work and our tendencies with respect to conflict.
One of the most common issues I have found relates to gossip. Over 90% of all respondents answer that there is gossip at work. Less than 10% say that they participate. I’m no mathematician, but those ratios seem very unlikely. As I think about the issue, I am led to wonder, why the disparity? Some of my theories are that the people know that they should not be gossiping so they say they do not participate, or that some think that listening to gossip is not participating. I have even had people tell me that it is not gossip if it is true – which is simply not true!
In any event, the fact is that gossip in the workplace is hardly ever a force for positive change – and that it must be meaningfully reduced in order to help steer a clear course to workplace happiness. The “how to” is some of the most challenging and rewarding work we have here at Hill Advisory Services!
What are your thoughts on workplace gossip? I would love to hear them!