How to Counteract the Employee Grapevine

A grapevine exists among your business's employees (every business has an employee grapevine). But you can limit the grapevine's potential for demotivating employees by feeding it accurate information.

To help manage your company’s grapevine

  • Provide accurate information. Set the record straight by proactively communicating to all employees. Otherwise, distorted half-truths will make the rounds — so nip these destructive rumors in the bud.

  • Share information quickly. Your employees are more likely to trust and believe you if you don’t hoard information. If you take a while to convey news, people will wonder if you have a hidden agenda.

  • Provide a question and answer session. If employees know they can ask questions, they’ll be more likely to wait for an answer before spreading rumors randomly.

  • Hold periodic group meetings. Your employees should be able to count on receiving information at regular intervals. If so, they’ll spend less energy looking for information elsewhere!

  • Avoid spin. Keep your content straightforward and concise. Everyone knows when they’re hearing spin — half-truths and propaganda-like messages — and the only thing that spin accomplishes is decreased morale.

Part of controlling the grapevine is handling speculation. When someone comes to you with questions, be honest. You don’t want your employees to have the perception that one group knows something that another one doesn’t. Employees do understand that some things are confidential; in those cases, reveal as much as you can and then let them know that the rest of the story is confidential.

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