How to Establish a Good Email Policy

Email has become part of our work life. Everyone uses it. It has become an essential part of business communication. Precisely for that reason companies need to have an email policy governing use of emails. Such policies would spell out what is acceptable and unacceptable when sending emails. These guidelines could prevent problems for the company down the road, problems that may include legal issues.

A good email policy should cover the following areas.

1. Monitoring of email
The policy should state whether the company will monitor emails that are sent using company computers. If the company does decide to monitor email, it should clearly state the reasoning behind such a decision – what the purpose of such an action is — and exactly what it will look at.

Employees need to understand that everything they send, receive or store will be open to examination.

2. Who owns the email
The company also needs to make clear that all emails are company property. Employees should be informed that emails are for business purposes only. The company should also notify employees what the policy is regarding personal email is, whether it will be allowed, and if so, what rules and regulations apply to personal communications.

3. Rules and regulations.
Employees need to know the rules and regulations governing the use of email. Those rules should include prohibiting emails with confidential information, language that is offensive or discriminatory, or material that is illegal or unauthorized. Employees need to know if they receive an email that violate company policy, they need to report it right away to their supervisor.

4. Understanding the policy
The company needs to make sure that all employees have read the email policy and that they understand it. This will help make a more efficient email system within the company, as well as covering the firm against any legal action if something inappropriate should be found in an email.

The company needs to make sure each employee receives a written contract stating that they have read the email policy and that they understand it, and they should be required to sign the contract to verify those statements. Moreover, the company needs to provide assistance to anyone who has questions about the policy. The email policy should also be included in the employee handbook and on the company intranet.

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