The spreading of rumors and gossip in an organization is a definite sign that there is a problem with communication, especially if the rumors are focused on organizational performance.
“Rumors begin when employees fill in the blanks with whatever they think is the real story,” says HR consultant Kelly Mollica, Ph.D.
She encourages managers to meet rumors and gossip head-on, and to use them as an opportunity to communicate honestly and openly. “Employees would rather hear bad news than no news,” says Mollica.
Action item: Short-circuit rumors by addressing them directly. Example: Respond to rumors about poor financial performance by relaying facts about the organization’s numbers and what they mean in the grand scheme of things.
— Adapted from “Answers to Your Top 7 Questions From the Science of Inbound Marketing,” Corey Eridon, HubSpot Inbound Hub, blog.hubspot.com.