8 Ways to Gossip-proof Your Onboarding Process

8 Ways to Gossip-proof Your Onboarding Process

How do you ensure that when a new employee comes on board, they don't destroy your workplace culture, especially if you and your team have worked extremely hard to get it to where it is today?

Imagine this, you have a completely gossip-free environment, a positive company culture, great team communication and then… a new employee comes along and everything changes.

Within weeks of them starting in your department/organisation, you notice a drastic decline in team morale, there’s misunderstanding upon misunderstanding.

You decide to ignore it because they must still be fitting in and you had such a great interview with this new employee, you feel you just want to give them a fair chance.

What would you do?

The Tuckman Model

According to the Tuckman model (Download a free copy here), all teams will go through a Storming phase when a new employee comes along as they learn to work together.

However, when does this become concerning?

When it comes to gossip and negative attitudes especially if it spreads to other employees, you should always take it seriously. Ensure you speak to your team, no matter how short or long they’ve been there, no matter what they’re working through in their personal lives, gossip and negative attitudes should not be taken lightly.

It can cause a lot of damage in a very short amount of time, and you’ll have to spend a significant amount of time repairing the damage.

So how can you ensure that this doesn’t happen?

8 Ways to gossip-proof Your Onboarding Process

1. Start at the interview

Introduce the no-gossip policy/expectations at the interview and ensure they are aware from the start that this is a gossip-free environment.

2. Sufficient onboarding documentation

Include the no-gossip policy and/or wording of a gossip-free environment in your code of conduct.

3. Onboarding training

Ensure you either provide face-to-face training or a video regarding the gossip-free environment and the importance thereof, as well as the detrimental effects of gossip.

4. No-gossip pledge

Have them sign a no-gossip pledge in which they pledge not to gossip and become part of the 'no-gossip movement'.

5. Open channels of communication

Ensure they are aware from the start what channels of communication they should follow, for example going directly to a person whom they are upset with instead of gossiping about them or complaining about them to others. Also, the expectations with regards to communication with you and what that will look like as well as clear expectations regarding communication with their peers.

6. Follow-up meetings

Meet with them 3 and 6 weeks after they commenced and then again at 3 and 6 months after they commenced. Ensure you gauge from them whether the onboarding process and information were sufficient and how they are finding the gossip-free environment. This is also a perfect time to discuss with them any concerns they might have, coach them through the storming phase or address any issues that have come up.

7. Make necessary changes

Use the information from these meetings to make improvements to your onboarding program.

8. Accountability

It is extremely important that you continuously keep your team accountable. We are all human and make mistakes. Keeping them accountable when they gossip, will ensure your success in keeping a gossip-free environment.

Want More?

  1. Listen to the podcast episode here
  2. Watch the YouTube video here
  3. Download a free PDF copy of the Tuckman model summary here

From Gossip to Growth

If you and your team are not experiencing a gossip-free environment yet, then I'd like to invite you to my new program, From Gossip to Growth. In this program, you'll learn a step-by-step process of eradicating workplace gossip and creating the positive thriving culture you and your team desire.

If you are ready to stop letting gossip undermine your team's potential, then head to gossiptogrowth.com for more information on the program.

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