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Establish an Email Policy For Your Business

October 28, 2008 by  

If you are running a business with more than one employee using your company email, you absolutely need to set a workplace email policy — clear rules for staff regarding what email can/can’t be used for.

I recently helped a business owner setup staff email accounts and the owner was surprised at my recommendation to write and distribute a policy before allowing his employees to access their new accounts. Once I began to explain the potential for his employees to abuse their email accounts — even unintentionally — and put his business at risk, it became clear why some time and thought needed to be put into defining a business policy for his staff.

Your company’s email usage policy should clearly define:

  • The business email account is to be used exclusively for work-related communications. It should not be used for personal messages or registering at unrelated websites.
  • Email is generally insecure so avoid sharing confidential information, trade secrets, proprietary information, patient information, etc. HIPPA and COPPA guidelines normally practiced should also apply to electronic communications to prospects, customers and business partners.
  • The business email account password may not be shared with anyone.
  • The business email account may not be used for sending hateful, disparaging, pornographic or other inappropriate messages.
  • Management has the right to review email accounts at any time.
  • Punishment for violating the email usage policy.

Build these guidelines into your standard employee handbook. To help you get started, check out this guidelines for workplace emails.

I hope you find this useful. Please share any additional suggestions.
-Roland

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