Grapevine communication within an organization minimizes the division between management and regular employees. It also enables front-line workers to gather information about company changes or events before they are formally announced. People also build work bonds through informal interaction.
The line between management and employees can lead to an "us versus them" mentality if it is strong. In some cases, managers accept, and even embrace, the grapevine as a way for some information to flow throughout the organization. When employees have a sense of impending change, they can prepare themselves for a better reaction when the news is formally shared by company leaders. In some cases, employees may even have the opportunity to intervene, when appropriate, when news of a problem or negative circumstance arises.
The opportunity to build close relationships with colleagues and coworkers is important to overall worker morale and retention. The grapevine includes conversations that take place over lunches, breaks and water coolers. While employees often discuss non-work related items during these informal gatherings, many also discuss events and activities of the workplace. These informal conversations about shared interests allow employees to develop a sense of belonging with the people they work with on a daily basis.