The need “to be in the know” is basic human nature. Knowledge is powerful and when people are not in the know, rumors (gossip and chatter) are born. A rumor is the spread of unidentified origin of uncertain information.
Insufficient knowledge or incomplete information is the cause and circumstance of how rumors are started and spread. We tend to fill in the missing information based on observed behavior or other profiled supposition that may not be accurate. Unfortunately, often with either a positive or negative spin based on how well we like someone or something.
At SSC, most know that I am a strong supporter of keeping the team informed. Aside from proprietary or confidential information, I strive to let everyone know the why, when, how, and what is going on as a company
WHY: 1) The more informed we are, the better we understand our objectives, 2) Increases efficiency and productivity; combats counter production, 3) Reduces the “Rumor Mill,” 4) Avoids hurt feelings or cultivates an apprehensive environment, 5) Makes management’s job easier, 6) Cultivates good morale and motivation, and more.
WHEN: 1) ASAP or timely, 2) Rumors are not acceptable; deal with them immediately, 3) Need to know something, don’t suppose, ask.
HOW: 1) Company meetings, 2) Company e-calendar and email, 3) Newsletter, 4) Safety meetings, 5) Department meetings, 6) Open and honest communication, 7) Ask and confirm information, 8) Bulletin Board, 9) Mandatory reading, 10) Cafe table publications, and more.
WHAT: 1) Company direction, 2) Company department, individual performance, 3) Changes, 4) Personal accomplishments, events, arrivals and departures, 5) Safety, and more.
SSC must focus on the practice of open, honest, and timely communication. Let’s commit to “effective communication” in the SSC workplace, not only being smoke and profanity free, but also rumor (gossip and chatter) free. May I add an awareness that gossip and chatter could lead to bullying?
Let’s be leaders by example and indulge in rumors, gossip, and/or chatter, whether company or individual to help tear down the “Rumor Mill,” not the desire and need to know.
Jim Alexander, CEO