How to Get Rid of Workplace Gossip
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
The first steps would probably be to ask the business owner why he/she encourages this. Then create awareness about the effects of such existing culture and behavior on the company.
Perhaps it could be helpful to explore that there is a big difference in exchanging positive gossip (about market, customer demands, etc.) and spreading negative gossip and backbiting.
Assuming you succeed in establishing such awareness and there is a willingness to do something about the culture of workplace backbiting and gossip, I found following advices to eradicate (negative) gossip at work:
1. Implement 'zero-tolerance' policies on workplace gossip.
2. Set an example. As a leader, be a good role model for others to follow and don't engage in the gossip.
3. Let the boss know. Have the courage to inform your immediate boss if the gossip is increasing.
4. Address the perpetrators. Stand up to the lead perpetrators and address them one-on-one
5. If you're a manager, meet with your team. Bring up the topic of gossip in a staff meeting to educate your team on its negative consequences.
6. Encourage positive gossip.
7. Ignore the gossiper. Gossipmongers thrive on attention.
8. Turn it back on the gossiper with a positive thing to say. Deflect the negative gossip with the exact opposite.
9. Keep your private life private. Don't trust personal information with anyone at work that will be fodder for gossip.
Source: Marcel Schwantes, "9 Ways to Get Rid of Workplace Gossip Immediately", Inc.