Managing Gossip for Senior Management
August 17, 2011 8:03 AM Subscribe
Any good books out there on handling employee gossip, from a managerial perspective?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My boss's boss is justifiably frustrated with the level of gossip and water-cooler nonsense in our company. I can see on a daily basis really great reasons for him to want something concise and action-oriented on the topic (he is absolutely that kind of manager.) Especially because the gossipers like to think of me as someone nice and friendly that they can complain to, and I'm quite averse to confrontations of the "please go away and let me do my own work now" variety.
The trouble is, he wants me to buy him a 22-page, $99 (not a typo) "executive report" from a company that never answers their phone and doesn't reply to emails (I've called multiple times since the email I sent two weeks ago and I'm about ready to give up.) Before I walk into his office and tell him that he'll have to pull out his American Express and pony up the money on his own, trust that it'll work, and wait a week for reimbursement (I can't set up a purchase order or use company funds for this without either their tax ID number or a receipt from him) I was hoping MetaFilter had suggestions.
It also really annoys me that this thing costs so much and the whole situation is so very MLM/"exploiting harried people with expense accounts" looking. $4.50 per page??? Seriously???
I've already checked with our corporate HR/training group and the EAP office and all they could suggest was that he attend an 8-hour training session on unhealthy workplace attitudes (they're eagerly awaiting word of my magically awesome better solution, and did offer me the chance to hunt through our unindexed library of several thousand licensed classes to see if there might be something useful out there.)
The key thing is that it has to be easily digestible, oriented toward management, and appeal to the sorts of folks who would like an Executive Action Report. I've thought semi-seriously about drafting one for him using my own research, but that's enough outside of my job description to give me real pause before suggesting it. Having said that, I am keeping my eye out for good AskMes on the issue, just in case.
I have decided, after due consideration, not to directly link the report he wants me to buy. But if you Google "managing gossip," I think you'll find the one I'm talking about. And if you do, and you've used it, and it's awesome and unbelievable and totally worth $99, please feel free to tell me. I couldn't find a single human being who wasn't paid by this company or quoted by them on the site (or one of its many, many mirrors using different corporate identities and phone numbers) who'd vouch for it or even admit to having seen it, ever.
(Asking anonymously on the off chance that my supervisor finds out I did this on my own time, which is technically forbidden for lots of good reasons, just as accessing MetaFilter from work is also forbidden; the corporate world is neither forgiving nor understanding of such dilemmas.)