Negative gossip in the office is something that is harmful both to your business and to the employees. Whether it encourages individuals to seek work in a less toxic environment, slows down productivity, creates friction between team members or morphs into a legal problem with accusations of bullying and harassment, it is something that managers should put a stop to as soon as possible.
Walk the walk
If you are a manager, employees look to your actions as what expectations of behaviour are in the workplace. If a manager is ever seen engaging in the behaviour, they prohibit this acts to encourage negative gossip as it is seen as acceptable.
Hold a team meeting
If there are issues throughout the team, it should be addressed as a staff issue. A meeting will allow members of staff to voice problems and come up with collaborative solutions to solve them.
Meet with the perpetrators
Having a one-on-one confidential discussion may solve the problem if bad behaviour is being exhibited by individual members of staff. If you assist the person in understanding the damage their actions cause and the potential consequences for their job, this puts the person on the path for creating new helpful habits in their interactions within the workplace.