The Benefits of Water Cooler Talk

30 Nov

Office TalkIt may feel like eavesdropping, but keeping an ear to office gossip can be an asset to HR managers and employee management.  While there is a debate about whether all office gossip is toxic, or if some of the chatter is healthy office banter, an HR manager who is “in the know” is well ahead of the game.

A common theme for most office gossip is that those talking are often seeking out trusted colleagues who share their viewpoints or frustrations – but HR professionals must become that trusted colleague for employees.

Sheri Mazurek, a blogger for Management Help states that, “doing so will help you find the cause of a problem so you can treat more than the symptom.” “As any good doctor or HR professional should know, treating just the symptom will not cure the disease.”

Gossip is a universal human behavior, but malicious or excessive gossip disrupts production and lowers morale, especially if it often targets individual employees. To help squash negative gossip, fill the void by communicating and quickly revealing company decisions.

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