Explain about compulsive talker
A female clerk in your department is a compulsive talker. her job requires her to deliver reports, mail and memos to various offices, a task that takes her to 3 times longer than it should because she has a conversation with atleast 1 person at each office. your problem with her, howerver, is that she orginates and spreads rumors. you can other source of the gossip and that periodically circulate thru the company about your department. how to deal with this problem?
The approaches suggested are quite strong. Some other ideas which can be initiated would be to use a seasoned veteran worker to engage in a mentoring program with the clerk. Naturally, as had been suggested, there has to be open articulation about the nature of the problem. The mentoring from a respected member of the staff might allow the clerk an opportunity to understand why the behavior is detrimental to the institution, in general. In a performance assessment, driving the idea of time inefficiency might also be another approach. It is difficult to actually "prove" the nature of gossip, so being able to make a statement about any sidebar conversations as hurting productivity and efficiency might be in order. Additionally, stressing to the employee that certain practices and procedures of the company must remain confidential as part of "trade secrets and practices" might be a good way to eliminate the idea of stopping the statements "that circulate about management and department." Perhaps, one can never eliminate the compulsive talking component of one's personality, but stressing that talking about work and professional matters that endanger the livelihood of the company and have to be punished can be another approach to redress the problem.
The main thing here is (i) who you are in your department. (ii) whether the action of the female disrupted the discipline of the depatment and its functioning. If you are a disciplinary auhority( empowered to take the disciplinary actions) it is your resposibility to cause an enquiry as to weather the female caused indiscipline and if so proceed on an enquiry to prove it. If her activity is wrong at first you can directly ask person to mend herself. That is the first chace or opportunity for the person to correct herself. Any repeated offence requires a suitable disciplinary action commensurate with the offence. The authority being vested with you proceed further to take action. If you are not an authority , then see weather you , or your work , or your companies functioning or image is suffering on acccount the act of the person. Try convincing in person. Otherwise take the matter with the higher authority. It remains for the authority to take the necessary action.
The problem that you have explained has two dimensions. First dimension is that of levels of efficiency and output. The employee in question is taking thrice the normal or standard time to complete the tasks assigned to her. In this way not only she is not delivering and also causing delay in work of others. The second dimension of the problem is spreading of rumors. These two problems need to be handled independently.
First, taking up the problem of low output, it is best dealt by properly motivating the employee. This can be done by various means such as monitoring and measuring performance clearly and correctly. This information can then be fed back to her for self motivation, in addition it can also be used for performance evaluation and decisions on remunerations. These motivation efforts may be supplemented by counselling. If an employee still does not improve, appropriate disciplinary action may be essential. If nothing works, transfer or dismissal may be the only options available.
The best way for handling the problem of spreading rumor is to be open with the employee in the first place. If senior management of company takes its employees in confidence and keeps them informed of all important matters, specially the ones affecting them personally, the chances of rumors spreading or harming the interests of the company are minimum when employees have confidence in their senior management they do not pay attention to irresponsible individuals spreading baseless rumors. However, if a situation arises where the some rumor has gained momentum in the company, and is likely to have adverse effect on the company, it is best to clarify the company view to the employees as early as possible. An approach like this will take the edge out of any rumors among the employee. In addition this approach can also be used to garner the support of employees to counter harmful rumors among general public.