Gossip: The Liability You’ve Never Considered

October 19, 2015


Rent Manager

Rent Manager on Laptop

Risk management plays a major role in the world of property management. Whether you’re the investor, owner, or property manager, you are constantly assessing potential areas of harm. But you may be overlooking one of the most toxic threats to your business: interoffice drama. We’ve all been there, the gossip, the pettiness, the upset employee who makes it their goal to spread bad news throughout the land, it’s a culture killer.

Whether you’ve been the victim of gossip, the starter of rumors, or merely stuck in the middle of an employee face-off, you know it can not only be hurtful, but also extremely distracting.

Property management is a unique field in which so many independent parties must collaborate together to get any number of jobs done. Vendors, owners, leasing consultants, maintenance and more; the list goes on and on. With so many critical relationships vulnerable to hard feelings, it’s important to stop gossip in its tracks.

4 Steps to Mitigating Gossip

  1. Don’t tolerate negativity. It’s one thing to have a hard day, but it’s another to let your emotions transfer to your co-workers unnecessarily. Instead, encourage healthy conversations about challenges that result in action, change, or encouragement.
  2. Be particular with who you hire. Skill sets and talent are key factors, yes, but personality and the ability to work alongside existing staff is just as important. Make sure you’re conscientious about the group dynamics and prepare your staff ahead of time when expecting a new employee.
  3. Encourage group cohesiveness. When a new employee is on-boarded, be intentional about integrating them into the group. The last thing any office needs is to feel a disconnect between the “old” employees and the “new.”
  4. Set the example. If you are advocating for less conflict and more peace, then start by setting the example yourself. Don’t join in when others are distracted by drama or speak inappropriately about co-workers. Keeping a positive attitude is just as contagious as its negative counterpart, so fight the battle with kindness.

If at the end of the day your office tension is still at an uncomfortable high, consider discussing the issue as a group. Put the expectation on the table and do some investigative work into why drama might be holding back your company’s potential.

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