Gossip in the Workplace

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Gossip in the work place
Charlie Brown
Peanuts University
Prof. Writing in the Disciplines Business Communications
Judy Brown
July 18, 2010


In every work place environment gossip is very common and almost every working individual has been involved in it in some form or another. Although gossip is often derogatory most working individuals have either engaged in it or have been a victim of it. I t can also be referred to as a form of work place bullying and have a detrimental affect on an organization because it can cause a great deal of harm to the people involved and the organization it self. The gossip mill is a workplace problem that is very easy to get involved and also almost very hard to resist and it is a problem that needs to be addressed. The effects of gossip will be analyzed through this report. Gossip in the work place

The main focus of this report is to examine the existence of gossip in the work place. Gossiping as a whole will be defined and it repercussions in the work place environment will be analyzed. Although, gossip is often associated with work place bullying this report will only examine the concerns of gossiping at the financial services department for CHATEX Co. This organization is a transportation company with over 500 employees and the financial services department is the support department that employs thirty para-professionals who handle everything from book keeping, contracts and payroll. The CHATEX’s financial services department will be the central focus for this report since; it has had a high volume of employee turn over within the last two years. CHATEX’s management team has recognized that gossip in the work place could be the issue that has contributed to low employee morale and high employee turn over. CHATEX prides itself in customer service and feels that employee loyalty and longevity are essential to its success, so they have requested an analysis of gossip and its ramifications in the work place. Therefore, the office environment at CHATEX was examined where a confidential survey was conducted and the data was collected as well as research from other sources was analyzed. GOSSIP THE PROBLEM

In order to understand its ramifications gossip needs to be defined. In their article Gossip’s Toll On The Workplace, Smerd and Jeremy define gossip as “idle chit chat but reputational warfare” where rumors, non factual stories are spread that can hurt the reputation of the person being talked about. Work place gossip can cause a great deal of harm to an organization in his employee newsletter Hennessey claims that there are several ways in which gossip can hurt a company. The ways are listed as follows: * Lost productivity and wasted time

* Morale and trust are eroded
* Increased anxiety among employees as rumors circulate without any clear information as to what is fact and what isn’t * Divisiveness tends to grow among employees as people may “take sides” * Feelings and reputations are hurt, sometimes causing severe damage. * The “gossipers” may jeopardize changes for their own advancement because they are perceived as unprofessional. * Good employees may leave the company due to an unhealthy work atmosphere. Since, gossiping was defined gossiping as a serious work place problem that affects both the employee and the organization it also needs to be analyzed and recommendations to a solution need to be implemented to prevent it from happening.

Since, gossip was defined as the underlying reason affecting low employee morale and a high employee turn over the Human Resources department were given the results of the survey conducted at CHATEX Co. and were given a set of recommendations. These recommendations included a change in policy and procedures section in the employee handbook. These changes include a strong policy against harassment in any form that includes bullying/gossiping in any form....
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