I wanted to address how you deal with office gossip and rumors directly on my blog tonight. First, identify the root of the gossip. Now, you have two choices. First, don’t share anything with this person and change the subject every time he or she is around or second, fire him or her. This may seem drastic but it also depends on the extent of the gossip.
If the person is gossiping about someone’s hair or personal affairs, it is catty but ignoring it usually squashes it. If the person, however, is sharing company secrets or talking bad about the company or key employees in a way that can be harmful, liable or leak trade secrets- there is no rectifying the behavior. A firing is needed. Period.
I tell all of my employees that gossiping is not acceptable. Regardless of who starts it, if it gets back to me- the entire staff is fired. This isn’t a joke. I will do this. Most people are less likely to carry stories or even go near known gossips if they know the entire group’s livelihood is dependent upon this single rule.
So, if need be, implement my no gossip policy tomorrow. It is the best way to save your company from legal issues and prevent employee turnover.