Identify the instigators
Figure out who the key gossipers are and address them one-one-one. Find a place to talk in private and confront the issue. Let the employee(s) explain their view of the situation so you can know the entire story, and make sure they understand the impact that negative gossip can have on the office. Be polite but clear in relaying your expectations for office behavior.
Deal with the underlying cause
When talking to individuals, find out the full story so you can better understand what’s causing the gossip in the first place. Often you’ll find out that the gossip is a symptom of a bigger issue. Figuring out that issue and working with your employees to solve it will often clear up any symptoms, like gossip.
Get the whole team together
After you’ve addressed specific individuals about the issue, get the whole team together and discuss the ramifications of negative gossip in general. Also use this time to share and promote positive gossip. Talking about and praising the good things an employee is doing can improve team morale and motivate others to strive for similar success.
Set an example
If you hear gossip in the workplace, don’t encourage it, and definitely don’t participate. If negative comments are made to you, subtly change the subject. Employees look to you for guidance, so setting a negative tone can be very harmful to your office culture. Encourage good conversation and lead your team down a positive path.