Office gossip is toxic to a customer service team. Negative stories and wild speculation can lead to lost productivity, lowered morale, low employee engagement, and it can even send high-performing team members right out the door and into the waiting arms of your competitors. While you simply cannot stop all gossip among your customer service agents, you can adopt strategies to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.
Lead By Example
As a manager or leader, if you want to reduce gossip among your team, you cannot be caught engaging in it yourself. Don’t speculate idly or complain about company policies or decisions.
Listen To Your Team’s Real Issues
If you are unwilling to listen to your team’s problems, gossip will thrive. If they can’t talk to you or get answers from you, they will simply complain to one another and speculate among themselves.
Keep Employees In The Loop
Listening is important, but so is sharing relevant information. When you get important details to your team quickly, you can get out in front of potential problems and proactively reduce gossip and speculation.
Confront Gossip Head-On
If gossipers never experience consequences, they have no incentive to stop. If you see someone spreading rumors about the company or other employees, bring that person in and talk to them about it. This will not only stop that gossiper in his tracks, but it will also deter others who might be tempted to join in.
Confront The Behavior, Not The Personality
When you address someone about their gossip, be prepared to discuss specific incidents with times, places and detail. Keep the conversation about the action of gossiping, rather than attacking the person. Discuss the ways the gossip is impacting productivity and results, that way the interaction stays professional.
Focus On Solutions
Most gossip comes from a place of true concern. Employees might believe that one team member is receiving special treatment or they might be concerned about layoffs or other issues that make them feel threatened. Try to drill down to the source of the problem and offer answers and solutions.
You probably can’t ever completely eliminate office gossip, but you can reduce it through strategies like these and committing to hiring agents for your customer service team who focused on results, not office socialization. If you are looking for effective customer service agents for your company, contact the call center recruiting experts at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We can help you locate the right team members to keep your CSR team morning forward.