How to Deal With Office Politics and Gossip

Three tips for handling people who are poisoning the organization's culture.

Brandon Moser, the 'office politics ninja,' offers suggestions for handling people who are poisoning the organization's culture

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How should I deal with office politics and gossip?

Always look first for the root cause of workplace gossip. Office gossip often occurs because it fills a void where the organization has not communicated as much or as frequently as it should. As a CIO or other C-level executive, addressing office gossip, politics and morale may not be at the top of your to-do list, but you should make these issues a higher priority. Organizations full of complex politics and gossip rarely reach their full potential because the employees are spending a portion of their time watching their backs when they could be using that energy to improve the organization. Poor or inefficient management can also create gossip. So initially, don't punish the gossiper. Look internally first to determine whether the root cause of gossip is something your organization can fix.

Sometimes workplace cultures allow employees to create the perception of growth and progress instead of producing real results. You don't pay your employees to work hard. You pay them for results. Eliminate the political types by evaluating only what they have accomplished, not the inflated perception they create of themselves.

Never hire someone only for his or her business background and skill set. It's equally important to hire for personality, interpersonal skills and integrity. Those are difficult qualities to evaluate in an interview. But if you ask the right behavioral questions, you'll get a good indication of whether the potential employee will positively or negatively affect your organization's culture.

Brandon Moser is a consultant, author, speaker and host of the podcast "Ninja Pod Radio." Visit his website at www.officepoliticsninja.com and follow him on Twitter: @Politics_Ninja.

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