Gossip, Gossip, Gossip – Why can’t people just shut their trap?

Let’s face it, gossip runs rampant in just about every workplace, right?  I swear that sometimes it seems as if people literally have nothing better to do than gossip about each other.  They talk about the company, they talk about co-workers, and OF COURSE they talk about their managers.  They can frequently take something that is a partial truth and turn and twist it into a whole speculative truth.

One of my favorites is when employees gossip about the amount of money they are making, and more often than not, they do not tell the truth.  So, unhappy coworkers storm down to the Human Resources office asking about their pay and how to get more.

Let’s face it, you have to expect a certain amount of gossip; people want to know what is going on at their workplace, and they like to discuss work issues.  The key to this is to know when the gossip is out-of-hand.  You need to take action if the gossip is doing the following:

  • Disrupting the work place and the business of work
  • Hurting other employee’s feelings (We can go into a huge HR debate here but we will skip it….this time)
  • Damaging interpersonal relationships.
  • Injuring employee motivation and employee morale.

If you find yourself having to address gossip frequently, you way want to take a step back and take a hard look at your workplace to understand consistent themes in the gossip.  Is it possible that you do not share enough information with employees?  Is it possible that employees don’t trust you and that they are afraid to ask about important things?  Just something to think about before you completely fly off the handle.

If gossip hasn’t been managed in the past, the gossip tends to become a negative in your work culture.  With that being said, don’t let negative gossip go unaddressed.

Managing gossip is pretty simple, just manage it as you would any other negative behavior from an employee.  I encourage you to use a coaching approach whenever possible to help the employee improve their behavior.

But, when needed, gossip management starts with a serious talk between the employee and the manager or supervisor.  if the discussion of the negative impacts of the employee’s gossip has no effect on subsequent behavior, begin the process of progressive discipline…you know the routine – Verbal, formal write up, suspension, termination.

If you assertively deal with the gossip, you will create a work culture and an environment that does not support gossip.  It will keep more employees happy and on-board with you and your organization.

Keep this in mind…

“Who gossips to you will gossip of you.”

Team Building. Employee Excitement and Employee Motivation. Can you motivate your team?

Team Building – Employee Excitement and Employee Motivation

An employee’s excitement and motivation for the job are at its peak when they are first hired to your organization.  However, it is pretty common that after settling into a routine of the daily grind, the excitement and motivation begins to fade.  So, before that happens the employer has an opportunity to reverse that trend.  Does that mean you should throw a party every day? No, of course not but once, twice or even a few times a year can build moral amongst your team.  I try to do something on holidays, it is the perfect time.  Halloween is on Saturday this year, so maybe have a Friday halloween celebration, salsa making competition and tasting or a costume contest.

Team-Building is Important to Employee’s Sense of Belonging

Team building is the most important term.  The purpose is to include “everyone” and to encourage those that usually keep to themselves to join in on the activities.  It is amazing how many employees learn things about themselves and the ones around them that they never knew before.

Misunderstandings can dissolve when seen from a different perspective
Alliances are formed when faced with a dilemma to work through
Personalities are exposed in new and different ways
Ideas come to those that free themselves from the “it is how it has always been done” mentality
Team-building days are fun as well as challenging.

There is going to be a Team-Building Day – Now What??
It is easy to talk about a team-building day but making it happen may be more challenging. Deciding what to do and where to do it involves making many decisions, consideration of the cost and what would make the greatest impact. Why not let the employees plan the day? The details would be different for a small business compared to a large business of course. A small business may include only a few employees while a larger business could include a hundred or more. The type of business would also make a difference – would outdoor challenges be best or would a cooking class and challenge be better?

What is the best Team-Building Event
Team-Building events are often thought of as outdoor challenges like rock climbing and obstacle courses. They may even include a trip to another state or a cruise to an exotic island. While those are great ideas they are not the only way to improve employee motivation. The state of the economy over the past several years has caused many businesses to change their extravagant ways. In some ways that is a good thing because often simple is better. Employees interact with each other instead of their surroundings. Getting to know each other is easier when there are fewer events.

Asking the employees what they would like may be surprising. Special training to improve their positions in the company, working together for a charity or taking hands on personal improvement classes.  There are some great tools out there for just these types of events.

Team-Building Days Improve Employee’s View of their Job
Employees that love their jobs appreciate the benefit of a team-building day. Positive events also affect employees that have begun to dread going to work every day. Create a scrapbook to remind each employee and the employer of what is good about where they work now and in the future.  I encourage you to keep those scrap books in a conference room, the HR department, or some other semi common place.  It is fun for employees to reminisce about the event and it shows new potential employees that the company cares about employee happiness.

If you would like some team building exercises or would like us to facilitate a fun hands on team building event please call us today!  We have facilitated numerous events and find that our clients leave with a smile, get re-engaged at work and always look forward to the next event.  We run event for as little as 2 or 3 employees all the way up to 100+ employees.