Chaplains are part of the IDT and that means they are susceptible to hearing gossip. Word of caution: If you intend to maintain your integrity, you will be above gossiping. Instead, you will be part of the solution to the problem of Gossip.
Consider these statistics: Depending on what source you use (and they are very close in their findings), An active gossiper burns 65 hours of productivity per year. You realize that this over a week and half of wasted time. Yes, I am speaking as an administrator, but I realize my audience is comprised of the most ethical and moral of all persons. Surely, you find this unacceptable. Further, 86% of gossip regards corporate challenges. Is it any wonder that gossip is so destructive?
According to Teamworks (http://teamworks-works.com/venting-or-gossip-in-the-workplace/), this is a brief list of how destructive gossip is in the workplace. Gossip:
o Decreases productivity: It is a time waster.
o Compromises professional standards.
o Makes problem areas worse.
o Causes pain, resentment and distrust.
o Management spends enormous energy finding out “who said what.”
o Workers lose confidence in management if it’s allowed to continue.
If much of the gossip is about corporate challenges is there a way to discuss the problems without gossiping? Remember, gossip is based on conjecture and very short of facts. In each meeting I conduct with my Chaplain Team, I have an agenda item devoted to “Rumors”. The reason I do this is give the Chaplains a safe place to discuss any issues that they have heard about so I can arm them with facts. Facts dispel gossip. If you are in healthcare, you realize the friendly environment which existed to do the work of hospice is no more. Change is all we have seen in the previous 3 years. It’s frustrating to keep up with all the CMS decisions. Upper management must be nimble and quick to guide the ship of hospice. That often translates to instability and capriciousness. Trust me, that is far from the truth. To keep the hospice out of the ditch, changes must be made. For instance, the new reimbursement model is the U-shaped model. This affects nurse visits, social worker visits and Chaplain visits in the last 2 weeks of the patient’s life. Reimbursement is dependent on the increased care for patients in this time frame. Chaplains are busy, but must make extra effort to see their patients on Supportive Care. It’s a change. It takes extra time. It disrupts a Chaplain’s visit rhythm. But, it’s not optional, it is mandatory. Our Chaplains know they can vent their frustrations to me. I encourage that. It’s better to vent to me than to others on the IDT as that would hurt morale and wound the Chaplain’s reputation.
How do handle gossip in your workplace?