Let People Know What the Heck is Going On!
I can’t quite put my finger on it or pinpoint who exactly is involved. But some individual (or nefarious group of individuals!) is spreading wild chatter and idle gossip around here. Because the following crazy comments, fantastic fabrications and ridiculous rumors have been mumbled, rumbled and/or whispered somewhere within the company:
“John in the mailroom is pregnant.”
“The water bottle in the water cooler has been laced with Kool-Aid.”
“Sherry in Human Resources used to work for the NSA as an interrogator.”
“There will be no Christmas bonuses this year.”
“Everyone has to work this weekend without pay.”
“All two-year employees are getting promoted over three-year employees just because.”
“Free coffee and donuts will no longer be free.”
And last but not least:
“The whole Accounting Department has the flu, so no one’s getting paid until next week!”
To be perfectly honest, this is the sort of thing that happens at a lot of businesses. And the bigger the business, usually greater is the idle gossip and worrisome rumors. Who and where does it come from? And why? I mean, is it really necessary to give its source a name? The Rumor Mill. The Grapevine. Gossip Central. And my favorite: The Dark Recesses of Clandestine Complaint!
Call it what you want, employees at small and large companies alike worry about things and fear the unknown. They worry and fear about their jobs, their salaries, what the boss really thinks of them, what others think of them and what anyone might be saying about them. Most of all, they worry about change. Is it coming? And what will it be?
Because of all this wasted worrying and unnecessary fear, job surveyors can only marginally calculate how much productivity and profit a business loses each year. And how many quality employees are lost because the negative rumors and gossip persist. The persistent level of worry, fear and anxiety present is what easily motivates even well-paid employees to quit and seek out a nicer company with a happier, more stable work environment.
Bottom line? Everybody wants to be happy at their job and in the work they do. It’s not rocket science we’re talking here (Are you listening, all you supervisors, managers and self-proclaimed leaders out there?). Rumor and gossip and worry and fear are the enemy of a happy, productive work environment.
Running a successful business requires many things, and one of them is effective communication. For that’s the real bottom line: keeping employees informed and letting them know what the heck is going on. Invariably, as a leader, what you’re really doing is keeping workers happy and productive. And keeping your business and work environment free of worry and fear.
By doing so, and by keeping your employees informed on a continual basis, they will remain confident in your ability to lead and in the knowledge that they absolutely have nothing to worry about or fear. In fact, everything is great at work. Their job security is secure, the company is doing well and John in the mailroom is not pregnant!