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If your workplace has a problem with gossiping employees, you know the importance of positive and clear communication.

Gossiping and rumors hurt your staff morale and organizational performance. Such toxicity and negativity can also lead to expensive lawsuits.

Once gossiping starts, it’s difficult to stop.

Perhaps you feel powerless and you’re inclined to throw up your hands in desperation. But tolerating it is not a solution.

For maximum performance and strong morale, you must eliminate the rumor mill or at least minimize it.

Here’s how to show leadership and solve the toxicity:

1. Improve workplace communication

Increase transparency with honest and open communication. Alleviate the team members’ motivation to gossip.


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Keep your staff members in the loop about bad and good news.

2. Assertively send a message

Be clear with your team – tell employees launching or spreading rumors isn’t acceptable in your workplace.


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3. Eliminate bad behavior

Update and implement policies to inform your staff that this type bad behavior won’t be tolerated.

4. Counsel bad actors

Focus on the gossipers and back-stabbing workers. Hold one-on-one conversations with the offenders.


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5. Be a role model

Improve your image as a manager by being a positive role model. If you hear gossip, stop it immediately.

Diplomatically change the subject by asking questions about other subjects. Give your employees an opportunity to show graceful behavior.

If gossiping employees don’t take the hint, be direct. Tell them gossiping is unacceptable and bad for teamwork.

If employees persist in being toxic, be as stern as you need to be. Tell them prejudice and slander are unacceptable in your workplace.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more tips to improve your workplace:

Prevent Negativity, Gossip, Toxicity from Infecting Your Team – Your workplace can be damaged by difficult employees. You know what I mean – drama queens, gossipers and power grabbers. Here’s what to do.

Tips to Prevent or Eliminate Employee Toxicity – From time to time, nearly every boss has to cope with an employee’s negativity. That’s annoying enough, but you’ve got a nightmare if toxic attitudes spread among the rest of your workers. Here are solutions.

Management: Coach Your Employees to Better Performance – In talent management, coaching, counseling and giving feedback is of utmost importance. But it’s a difficult challenge if you don’t have a coaching culture.

HR: Avoid Bias in Evaluating Top Employees Who Backslide – Don’t be too lenient with talented employees with a history of strong performance but who decline in their work. Document every event in any downtrend of performance. Inevitably, many terminated employees will file claims accusing you of discrimination.

Dreaded Discussions You Must Have – 7 Management Tips — In most organizations, managers must inevitably have conversations with employees regarding their work. Here are seven crucial steps.