Gossip can isolate one person from the group or divide the team. When people gossip, they often make assumptions without realizing it and they convey more information than they think is true. Misunderstandings are frequent because the spoken word is easily misunderstood. Workplace gossip often refers to a particular person or people.
It can be defamatory, negative and embarrassing for the coworker who is the subject of the rumor. But it doesn't just create conflict for people. Gossip can cause divisions within the organization, as people side with each other or lose trust in their associates. For example, if an office manager feels belittled by a salesperson's gossip, the manager could lose trust in the seller.
This, in turn, could prevent them from approaching the seller about ideas that could help increase sales. Decreased sales can have a direct impact on bottom line. First, the policy must explicitly state that it is not intended to limit the right of employees to talk about wages, hours or working conditions; rather, it aims to spread gossip about topics not related to work, Hyman said. Gossip can also harm a small business if a decline in morale causes employees to lose focus on the customer.
While small talk may not seem like a big deal, gossip can quickly get out of control, especially in a small business environment. Social information acquired through gossip helps indirect learning and directly influences future behavior and the formation of impressions. If your words aren't something you would say in front of the person, or if they aren't substantiated, they're probably gossip. The act of gossiping is bad, since both the speaker and the listener attack a defenseless person.
Sometimes, gossip “is a harbinger of something that is true and makes you realize something, as a manager, that you should work on,” he added. To avoid the negative impacts of gossip and avoid deception at work or the expansion of office politics, appropriate measures must be taken. TLK Healthcare, a healthcare staffing company based in Austin, Texas, includes employees gossip among employees who talk to the boss with no intention of offering a solution or talking to co-workers about a problem. A client whose accounting is done at a public accounting firm, for example, doesn't want to hear that office gossip can cause their chief accountant to leave the company.
From the first day the humble water cooler was invented, it has been a gathering place for office gossip to cure garbage. According to previous work, gossip also helps promote cooperation in groups without the need for formal sanctioning mechanisms. Communication is the main process of linking and the main means by which people obtain and exchange information in an organization, but gossip can have adverse effects on any organization. However, when exchanges invent negative gossip, an organization can quickly develop a toxic work environment.