Workplace Gossip Can Reduce Employee Turnover and Improve productivity, Study Shows

In Education

Positive workplace gossip, according to Binghamton University School of Management researchers, has potential benefits such as decreasing employee turnover and improving organizational effectiveness.

Positive workplace gossip enhances productivity

The study, based on prior research on workplace gossip dynamics, surveyed 338 health workers in South Korea, exploring positive and negative workplace gossip related to organizations and management. Contrary to common belief, the findings challenge the idea that negative gossip is powerful or controlling, as the research uncovered no supporting evidence for such perceptions.

Participants did not see negative gossip as valuable information; instead, they perceived it as mere complaining.

According to Jinhee Moon, a doctoral student at SOM, there is need to recognize the significance of positive gossip as it can significantly influence turnover, a key determinant of organizational success. Moon suggests that fostering positive gossip requires organizations to treat employees well and demonstrate genuine care through their actions.

In contrast, positive gossip including discussing positive management actions or praising the organization, was considered more valuable. Study participants expressed a heightened interest in positive information that could elevate or sustain their status within the organization.

Negative gossip doesn’t convey control or power

Engaging in negative workplace gossip does not yield positive results, according to research. Contrary to expectations, participating in such gossip does not convey power or control. Instead, people perceive it as a form of complaining, with no value as information. The study suggests that investing time in negative gossip offers no benefits and is not viewed positively in a workplace context.

The study highlights the potential positive effect of engaging in constructive gossip on decreasing voluntary employee turnover. According to Moon, discussing favorable aspects of the organization with colleagues can provide a convenient means for individuals facing workplace challenges to alleviate negative sentiments and ultimately enhance their personal empowerment, contributing to long-term job satisfaction.

The research underscores the significance for organizations to recognize the influence of gossip, especially positive gossip, on employee retention. Creating a positive work environment fosters a sense of value and well-treatment among employees, resulting in more favorable interactions and improving the overall organizational culture.

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