Most employers are aware of why it’s so important to strive for and maintain positive work environments. When they can achieve this, they will have better, happier employees who are more dedicated to working hard and accomplishing goals. But how can one cultivate a more positive environment? This involves much more than just being friendly with each other. It’s about building genuine respect and relationships, starting with eliminating gossip. The rumor mill and spreading gossip is a part of virtually every workplace, and it can be incredibly damaging. While employers cannot control every action and word of their employees, they can strive to make it very clear that disrespect for coworkers is not acceptable.
People often justify gossip by saying they were simply “venting” to someone who was willing to provide a listening ear. Employers can encourage their workers to discuss their frustrations by going directly to the person with whom they have a problem or allowing workers to speak directly with them without fear of punishment. It’s always better to deal with interpersonal issues head-on instead of turning to the rumor mill when things get difficult. After the initial frustration gets repeated a few times, the entire situation is typically misrepresented and inflamed to the point where it’s not reflective of what actually happened.
Employers can take strides to encourage employees to speak positively with and about one another. This does not mean that people cannot be honest or genuine with each other, but it does mean that even the most negative of issues are dealt with in a positive manner. Employees should also be encouraged to help each other, refuse to repeat negativity and even speak out when someone is repeatedly the source of negative and defamatory language.
One of the most important jobs that an employer has is to protect his or her employees. This includes protecting them from vicious and negative words and providing them with a work environment that is respectful and safe. Reducing gossip is not only a mark of a mature company with mature employees, it is good for the emotional and mental health of everyone who works there.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC