6

I found out from a member of another department over an informal chat (more like grapevine) about how they know and think about appraisals and reviews are done for my team.

There were no names that he spilled out, yet the information that reached the person was true. It was regarding an important management decision in the past, which was about an individual and was strictly confidential.

I feel that this is a leak of confidential information and make the management aware. I also believe that such talks are spoiling the reputation of my team.

What I'm not able to decide is whether it is really my business. I'm not a team leader but an individual contributor in my team. Should the management know about this information leak?

Just one thing to add- the managements of both the departments are completely different.

  • it might well be common knowledge already by the sound of it. Difficult to track the source, and probably detrimental to you personally because you would engender some personal antagonism – Kilisi Sep 25 '15 at 5:14
  • If you know the information is true, then everybody in your department knows the information. How would you know it was the management who leaked the information? How do you know no one in your department did not leak the information? – scaaahu Sep 25 '15 at 5:24
  • @Kilisi and scaahu- Maybe I can't figure out who leaked it but I'm sure the management can figure it out as it was about an individual's performance rating. Once they know what information is leaked, they will certainly be able to figure the source out. – Rachcha Sep 25 '15 at 5:30
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    they will certainly be able to figure the source out I am not too sure about that. If the individual himself leaked out to someone in the dept, that someone told someone else, in a matters of hours, everyone in the world would know and it's very hard to track the source. – scaaahu Sep 25 '15 at 5:52
10

I have a golden rule that I follow when it comes to office politics or rumours of any kind: if you're not absolutely sure that it's any of your business, it probably isn't.

Don't get involved in this. There's no personal or professional advantage for you to gain, you have no moral obligation to do anything and you're not in a management position where reporting such issues might be part of the job. You just risk upsetting people or harming your reputation over nothing. In fact, calling this an information leak is probably blowing it way out of proportion. Misguided company policies or cases where management mishandled reviews will always get out. Good management is about preventing this from happening, and not just doing damage control after the fact.

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    100% this. You hear many things in the work environment. Listen to them, think about them, ignore them if you wish, but don't repeat them, up, down or sideways. Do not be part of the gossip chain and do not react. – Marv Mills Sep 25 '15 at 9:06
  • Exactly @MarvMills. I do want to point out that when you're in a management position things can get trickier and there are some rumours that you should act on, such as those related to racism, sexism or legal issues, even if you were told something in confidence. That's an entirely different question though. – Lilienthal Sep 25 '15 at 9:12
  • I disagree. The open flow of communication between the team and management is very important. If the OP has a good relationship with his manager, he should mention that he heard something, the details jive with the facts and you are concerned about this leak of information. The manager needs to know this is going on and without your help he is in the dark until someone blows up about this. With your help he can get on top of it. Don't tell him what to do, but do pass along the information. – Bill Leeper Sep 25 '15 at 15:29
  • @BillLeeper I would agree with you if this was about a well-managed and well-run organization and if it was about actionable information rather than complaints that are probably the result of systemic bad management. In the OP's situation I don't see his passing along of these rumours as having very beneficial outcomes for him or the organization. – Lilienthal Sep 26 '15 at 12:58
2

This looks like the kind of information that would be very important for your management to know, but at the same kind it is the kind of information where messengers tend to get shot.

Unless your company is run in an amazingly good way (which it obviously isn't), there is a good chance that reporting this would have nasty consequences for you. Which is totally unfair, but that's what I would expect.

Just keep in your mind in the future that in your company confidential information is not confidential. And don't give out any information that is confidential and would harm you if it isn't kept confidential.

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