Business Feature
Grapevine, a source of information

Office Grapevine, has always been and always will be. And it is interesting too, mostly for those who are not the topic of gossip.

From a manager's point of view or from a group leader's point of view Grapevine could be either just an evil that he cannot do anything about or a rich source of what the staff or the group members are talking about. For a discerning person in a leadership or management position, the Grapevine can give a lot of pointers to furthur the efficiency of the office and the general morale of the staff or employees.

Same goes for each person working in the company. The office is the place you spent most of your day time and therefore most of your life. Therefore knowing what your boss and your colleagues really think of you and your work can help you evaluate your performance on the job. Grapevine information can also help you make smart career moves.

Granted that office grapevine is moslty gossip, which could end friendships, create hard feelings, make power groups and furthur more can sometimes even disrupt the efficient working of the company. While listening to the grapevine, it is always better to use your dicretion as to what information you pass on to others. If you think that a piece of information is damaging to a person then you can do your part by not spreading it. Another thing to note is when you start a topic with someone. Make sure the peson who you are passing on the information actually is on the same boat as you. For example you are new in the office and somebody really irritates you. Do not complain about it to the next person, as this person might be the irritating person's best friend. Do not tread on emotional or touchy topics, such as religion. These topics can create hard feelings. Always test the waters before providing your contribution to the office grapevine.

Office grapevine is helpful if you know how to use the information wisely. An employee looking for a job change inside the company itself can put in his application if he hears of a new opening in the department he wishes to move to . Those looking for a promotion can prepare for his appraisal keeping in mind the others who he will be competing against for the promotion. This sort of information especially in a big organisation can only be received through the trusted grapevine.

Evaluate grapevine information
As in any informal form of communication, Office grapevine information also should be well seived before you take any action or even think about an action. For example if you hear that there is a chance that you will be made redundant because of policy change or closing of a department, do not panic. Either you could take it up with your boss or be prepared with your suggestions. You could negotiate a transfer to another department and meet your boss with suggestions. It is so much better if you can be prepared with your options and present it to your boss when he speaks to you about the layoff.

Background information
A person's backgroud, family does affect the workplace. There fore it is always better to glean as much information about any new person in the company, especially if you are working with or under that person. This information can help you in dealing with that person. Knowing the person's likes and dislikes, style of management, workplace principles etc can put you in a better stead to forge a successful working relationship with this new person.

For a new manager or a group leader the grapevine is a necessary source of information about the staff working under him .Are they unhappy about the change, what was their relationship with the boss he has replaced etc. Knowing this can give the new manager or group leader pointers to plan his strategies for staff relationsip and how to get the best work done by them

Office parties and Get -together
Celebrating birthdays even if it is just a 15 minute break where you cut the cake and relax for a bit, or office parties where families are also invited; these functions give the company a caring image in front of the employees and could be a great morale booster. These functions will see the grapevine thrive with vitality

Every person needs to bond and harmless gossip sessions can help create a group who work happily together. Talking about and sharing the small and big problems at work among colleagues or group members can ease the stress that you feel. And talking about it can also lead to solutions.