Ethics Helpline

(248) 422 5517

You can manage gossip exactly as you would manage any other negative behaviour from an employee in your workplace.

Use a coaching approach, when possible, to help the employee improve his or her behavior. Gossip is often a life-long habit and breaking it can take a great deal of effort. Managers who ignore gossip can destroy a department.

But, when needed, gossip management starts with a serious talk between the employee and the manager or supervisor. If discussion of the negative impacts of the employee’s gossip does not affect subsequent behavior, begin the process of progressive discipline with a verbal warning, then a formal written, verbal warning for the employee’s personnel file.

Management should consider taking appropriate disciplinary action against an employee who continues gossiping after participating in coaching. One toxic person can drive your good employees out, especially if they see that the behaviour is going unaddressed.

If you assertively deal with gossip, you will create a work culture and environment that does not support gossip. You need to answer your employees' questions directly and honestly to avoid work-related gossip.

If the gossip is personal, you must go to the employees in question and make it clear that their coworkers are not an appropriate topic.

"Who gossips to you will gossip of you." -  (Turkish proverb)



About the POEC

To administer and enforce the Public Officers’ Ethics Act which comprises of the code of conduct and ethics for public officers and declarations of income, assets and liabilities for designated public officers.