Many rumors usually start at the workplace and continue to spread like wildfire. This is because the workplace is a very gossipy and social environment and people like to talk about other peoples' business. Rumors can really affect people's lives and work, and the best way to combat them is to address them head on.
A rumor can be extremely damaging to your company and can cause long-lasting damage. Finding out the source of the rumor is the first step in addressing the situation. You can also do some damage control and address the rumor and let people know you are addressing rumors.
In this article, you will learn about six ways you can address rumors at the workplace.
Why do rumors start?
The first thing you need to do to prevent rumors from damaging your company culture is to identify why these rumors start in the first place. There are many reasons why people start spreading rumors at work. It usually starts when an employee knows something about other employees that other co-workers don’t know about. The problem is that they don’t do fact checking and start spreading the information without realizing that what they are conveying is wrong information.
Why you should prevent spreading rumors at work?
Here are some of the downsides of spreading rumors at work:
- It can hurt the feelings of your employees
- Increases stress and anxiety
- Creates divisions
- Waste time
- Reduces productivity
- Decline in employee morale
- Lack of interest in collaboration
- Minimizes employee engagement
How to address rumors in the workplace?
Here are six ways on how to address rumors in the workplace:
1. Be a role model
Employees always look up to their leaders for inspiration. As a business leader, you are the one that should set an example for others to follow. The best way to do that is to never be a part of any such activity that leads to rumor spreading. Great leaders always keep themselves away from such activities. If you are involved in gossip as a leader, you are endorsing it and giving other employees license to indulge in gossip and rumors at work.
2. Build trust
When your employees trust you, they will share everything with you. That even includes gossip and dealing with rumors. That is why it is important for business leaders to focus on building trust with their employees. Take employee feedback and listen to what they are saying. This will give you a better idea about their sentiments about their company. If they have some issues, do your best to address their problems as soon as possible. More importantly, it will also help you know about rumors early and allow you to kill those rumors before it could spread throughout the organization. The more trust your employees have on you, the more likely they are to tell you about private gossip and rumors.
3. Ensure transparent communication
Establishing a two way communication channel is critical. Make sure that you have transparency and clarity in your communication. This can prevent misinformation from spreading. Effective communication gives your employees clear direction, promotes team building methods and improves productivity and relationships. It can also help you build trust with your employees.
As soon as new information comes out, each employee is informed about it. This keeps them in the loop and blocks misunderstandings which can lead to rumors. Ask your team to come to you and share any piece of information that they find suspicious. This will allow you to bust the myths early on and tell them about real facts so they don’t keep believing on any myths they hear.
4. Discourage rumour spreading
Have a zero tolerance policy for those spreading rumors in your organization. Clearly communicate your stance and tell employees how they will get penalized if they are found guilty of that act. Educate your team about the perils of spreading rumors and how it can negatively impact your company. This will force them to refrain from committing such an action again. The more concrete steps you take to stop spreading rumors at work, the less these rumors will surface or impact your organziation.
5. Kill rumours with facts
One of the best ways to combat rumor spreading is to purge these rumors at work with hard facts. Let’s say, an employee spreads the rumor that your company is using shared servers to cut costs, you need to tell other employees that you are planning to buy the best dedicated server for ultimate performance to deliver the best user
experience to our valued customers. Provide evidence to back up your claims as this will help your employee believe you more than rumor spreader.
If your competitors are spreading malicious information about your brand and some employees have started believing in false information, it is your duty to share real numbers and facts with them so they know the real face of your competitors and their intention behind this action. The longer you let the rumor linger, the more it will spread so you need to come up with facts quickly otherwise, the damage would be done.
6. Act fast
This brings us to the last point, act fast. Take action quickly as soon as you come to know about it. Adopting an ostrich approach and ignoring the rumors at work or pretending that you know nothing about rumors will let the rumor spread like crazy. Before you even realize, it can get out of hand. It will be much harder to contain the rumor from spreading at that point. That is why it is imperative that you act quickly and kill any rumors that are circulating in your organization. The longer you neglect these rumors, the more dangerous it becomes and the more damage it can do to your organization in the long run. As a business leader, this is exactly what you don’t want to happen with your organization.
How do you tackle the spreading rumors at work?
About the author
Muhammad Osama a qualified professional Content creator with ground-breaking experience in developing SEO campaigns, analytics, and monitoring the ranking in Google search pages. A clear communicator with an experience of digital marketing and improving brand search ranks.