Pulse January / February 2016 - Page 53

LYNDA PAPPAS Owner and Manager Skin Deep Day Spa, Crampton Hills, Illinois “There need to be clear boundaries within the workplace to make sure that disagreements outside of work are not carried into the spa.” to understand the perception of the audience before delivering the message. Our tone, approach and style can make a huge difference in our message being a help or a hindrance.” Tackling negative gossip is important, but tackling it in the wrong way can make the problem worse. Take gossipers to task. Perhaps the single most important method of tackling gossip is to nip it in the bud before it becomes a major headache. Easier said than done perhaps, but having a plan in place and being able to put it into action are crucial steps. Don’t start wondering how to deal with it when it happens—wonder how to deal with it before it happens. “We provide positive encouragement in the on-boarding procedures. As a part of the hiring process, we communicate to potential hires that we value reliable and honest teammates with integrity,” Carroll says, adding that all new hires attend the spa’s New Teammate Orientation which touches on topics like sexual harassment and employee behavior guidelines. Like Carroll, Pappas deals with office drama by ensuring that team members are aware of the spa’s no-gossip policy. “When a new employee joins our spa, I have them sign a contract that includes a commitment to make the spa a no-gossip business, so everyone is fully aware of the rules from their first day on the job. I also tell them clearly that if a problem should come up, they are encouraged to talk to me so that we can resolve the matter,” she says. It is also important for managers to set a good example to staff members when it comes to gossip. “If everyone is working hard toward a positive company culture, one that gives guests the kind of welcoming atmosphere they seek in a spa, gossip should not be a crippling problem,” says Cooper. “By focusing on the things that we can have a positive impact upon, we can reduce the impact of anything negative. However, the extra pressure is on those in management positions to be a model of and to uphold the company’s values and mission.” Send out a strong message. Sending a strong and consistent message that gossip and office politics are not tolerated helps get the message across to employees. When it comes to disciplinary actions, it’s important to communicate them early and clearly. “If a situation comes to my attention, I call all parties into my office and we discuss the issue until we reach a resolution. If the January/February 2016 ■ PULSE 51