Enhance Professionalism and Boost Your Company’s Image with an Email Policy

Think of the email messages you and your employees send from your company’s email system as the equivalent of letters sent on your company’s letterhead. Do these messages reflect well on your company?

It’s easy to take email for granted; it’s reliable and simple to use, it boosts productivity, and it enables quicker communication with customers and vendors. In the wrong hands, however, email can pose a danger, exposing your company to negative publicity and, possibly, lawsuits. You can help employees to minimize risks and make the most of email. Explain that email is for occasional personal use, like making personal phone calls. Set clear and comprehensive rules for acceptable email use. Your policy should cover these basic tenets:

  • Email should be professional and courteous and should not contain lewd jokes, religious messages, or political correspondence.
  • Email must not contain any illegal, libelous, or offensive statements. All statements meant to harass—sexually or otherwise—are prohibited.
  • Email is company property and is not private. The company has the right to access email sent to or from every computer and to retrieve email stored on its servers that users have deleted from their email programs.

Include the email policy in your employee handbook and use it when training new employees. Employees should sign the policy to acknowledge that they understand it.

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