If your business uses email, provides email service for you and your co-workers, or allows you to use email for business purposes, you’ll benefit tremendously from instituting and following a company-wide email policy. Here’s what typically goes into a business email policy:
Personal use of the email system. A business email policy can explain whether employees can use email for personal messages. If the business places restrictions on personal messages (for example, that employees can send them only during non-work hours, must exercise discretion as to the number and type of messages sent, or may not send personal messages with large attachments), describe those rules.
Monitoring. In general, an employer reserves the right to monitor employee email messages at any time. An email policy can explain that any messages employees send using your business’s equipment or email are not private, even if the employee considers them to be personal. If you will monitor employee emails regularly using a particular system — for example, a system that flags key words or copies every draft of a message — explain that system. This will help deter employees from sending offensive or highly personal messages on your work email.
Rules. A business email policy can make clear that all of your workplace policies and rules (such as rules against harassment, discrimination, violence, and solicitation) apply to employee use of the email system. The policy can further remind employees that email messages sent on your business’s equipment or email should be professional and appropriate.
Deleting email. A business email policy can establish a schedule for purging email messages and for archiving emails. The policy can further describe for employees specifically how they are to save important messages from the purge.
Are you looking for more information about managing your emails? Or, would you like to use an interesting tool to help your employees manage their emails well? If so, check out my Pinterest board, “Email: 50 Do’s and Don’ts” at http://pinterest.com/drlaurahills/email-50-do-s-and-don-ts/. – Dr. Laura Hills, Blue Pencil Institute, www.bluepencilinstitute.com