Differentiate fact from fiction (Rumors)

Though the ongoing slowdown has seen a rise in rumors doing the rounds on the corporate floor, HR managers tell us how organizations can help employees differentiate fact from fiction.

As kids, we have all played the game of Chinese whisper. And though we stopped playing once as we grew up, this particular game is still very much active in our lives. The only difference is that it has now moved on from the playgrounds to the corporate.

It is no hidden secret that eavesdropping has been existent in the workplaces for ages. However, experts say that during trying times, like the current slow down, there is a considerable increase in eavesdropping among employees, as fears of lay-offs and corporate restructuring have made employees more attentive to what’s going on around them. And experts point out that this has led to rumors being spread at the workplace.

So how does one differentiate between what is true and what is not? How do employees ‘protect’ themselves from the gruesome world of rumors at the workplace that hamper their productivity and make them feel insecure? Though you can’t avoid the daily headlines of economic recession and job cuts, you can certainly stop them from having an impact on you and your job. Rumors generally create a negative atmosphere of distrust and suspicion. The best way to remain out of this atmosphere is to be more energetic creative and thoughtful.

A team lead in a BPO was quite disturbed by the rumors and unrest in her office and realized that she would not allow herself to be de-motivated by them. To escape from the rough terrain of the situation, she resorted to fifteen minutes of meditation. Also, at times like these, we realized that skill up-gradation would only help in enhancing performance but also help the team to be motivated to work.

To handle rumors, the basic requirement an employee needs to have is to understand the situation at the workplace and to be well versed with the facts. Employees need to be well versed with the facts. The better the knowledge of facts, lesser will be the instances of such rumors being spread.

While rumors will be persistently present in the workplace, experts say that the most important thing that any employee can do is not to pay any attention to it. An assistant manager, licensing and sales at DQ Entertainment International feels that an employee pays heed to such office rumors or may feel threatened of a job loss only when his or her performance is under scrutiny.

So what do you do at times like these? As recession news dominate the headlines, it’s quite natural to feel uneasy about the job stability and security. Apart from staying motivated and thinking optimistic, what seems to be of paramount importance is to improve one’s job skills and be prepared to take on additional business critical duties. It means duties that are valuable to the business, even if they are beyond the scope of your job description.

My advice to people at such times is to control their emotions and try to detach themselves from what’s happening all around. Participating in such rumors will only impact one’s performance and make his/her personal as well as company’s situation worse. In such cases, all efforts should go towards creating a positive work environment that help increase productivity provide better customer value and tide over the challenging phase.

Moreover, companies are now taking measures to curtail this problem. Though to some employees, surreptitious listening is a way of survival, at the same time, organizations have to make sure that this does not get in the way of the growth and vision of the organization.

We have been through different phases of existence and the present is one such for defining moment for all of us, as to what the future holds, how things will be, etc. Having said that, the short term impact cannot be ignored either, which in many organizations is through the grapevine on how the market is, job security long term cost cutting etc. Organizations need to be well connected /knit internally, as they help us to sustain and improve our work culture. Also, this is the perfect opportunity to home skills, rediscover self and work to ensure that we are geared for the future as every downturn has an upswing.

At AbsolutData, the senior management is proactive in developing and maintaining a culture of seamless and clear communication on all sensitive issues. We believe that timely dissemination of key information from the right source will prevent rumors from floating around. This has helped us greatly curb unhealthy gossip and negativity on the office floor.

Hence, the crux of the matter is, if you hear rumors and give in to them, there is nothing that can save you from insecurity and confusion. Rather, why not make use of the news, differentiate the facts from the farce and work towards a healthy environment at work.

A positive frame of mind combined with a healthy office environment fostered by company strategy which is more employee friendly and gets strengthened by increased sensitivity to employees at this stage can best help curb the menace of job loss rumors.

You can withstand negatives vibes by suggesting new business ideas, cost saving measures, taking new initiatives and by getting involved in various committees and task forces at your workplace.

Serious attention to your work position is the need of the day. Ensure focus on bringing in changes through improved versions of your own work. Add more and more value to your position, ultimately contributing to the company’s growth.