Eliminating staff gossip at your practice

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Here are some tips to make your office a gossip-free zone.

Creating a winning team culture in an office is a key to success that cannot be overlooked. Most team builders come in with a lot of buzzwords, flashing lights, and games in order to engage staff members; often times their solutions dwindle and fade as fast as they arrived. There are simple solutions that create a unified team environment that can become permanent. One of the easiest ways to build team unity is a no gossip policy.

The policy is simple- gossip once and you will be warned, gossip again and you will be released. You could implement a few different versions, and with a problematic and bickering staff, you may have to add a few additional steps prior to releasing an employee.

Gossip is dishonest, contagious, and breeds disloyalty for your medical practice and within your team. All of the standard bullet points about building a great culture within your company are affected by gossip. Typically, team members that gossip about each other, gossip about everybody: staff, physicians, patients, and business. It is not “healthy” for your office to allow gossip and having an office full of gossip is a quick way to experience legal and professional ramifications.

When you bring a policy like this into an existing office dynamic, it is imperative that you don’t hand this out in a memo or e-mail. It is imperative to hold a team meeting, with a detailed explanation, and an opportunity for your team to ask questions.

This policy may not be well-received by all of your staff or team members at first. Your biggest culprits will be the most vocal and try to win over the others. Quality people do not gossip, and after the initial implementation phase of this policy, you will be left with quality people, who monitor and remind each other to remain gossip free.