Is there an e-mail policy on your organization? If not, it is better to do it quickly. E-mail policy is important as it clarifies what the company deems to be the use of the email and more importantly what is considered as inappropriate. You can create rules for the use of a separate e-mail or include an e-mail policy in the employee manual. In both cases, it is a good idea to ask employees to sign the policy, indicating that they have read and understood the document.
What topics should you cover in your e-mail policy? The following ten-point list includes:
# 1 Email Risks: Policies should list a list of email threats so that users are aware of the potential adverse effects of their actions. Tell the users that sending an email is like sending a postcard: if you do not want it to be on bulletin boards, do not send it.
# 2 Best Practices: etiquette and writing rules to maintain the company's reputation and provide quality customer service. For example, include five etiquette rules: 1. Do not write e-mail with uppercase letters, 2. Enable spell checking, 3. Read the email before sending.4. Add the appropriate corporate format for the signature, 5. Use appropriate grammatical and punctuation marks. Also include instructions for compressing attachments to save bandwidth.
# 3 Personal Use: Your policy must specify whether you accept personal emails and, if so, to what extent. For example, you can set the daily time limit to send personal e-mails (during breaks only) or personal e-mails should be saved in a separate folder. Also, make sure that employees are not allowed to send or receive certain e-mail attachments, such as exe, mp3, or vbs files. You can also include the maximum file size of attachments sent by e-mail.
# 4 Deception of resources: Warn users to use the company's email system and not participate in e-business that unnecessarily interconnects network traffic. The policy should also include the use of newsletters and newsgroups. For example, you can declare that employees can only sign up for a newsletter or newsgroup if it is directly related to their work.
# 5 Prohibited Content: Policy must explicitly specify that the email system is not used to create or distribute any attacking or disruptive messages including race, gender, age, sexual orientation, pornography , religious or political beliefs, national origin or disability-related offensive comments. Set that employees who receive emails with this content immediately report the matter to their supervisors. In addition, employees should not use e-mail to discuss competitors, potential acquisitions or mergers or to give their opinion on another business. Illegal messages, such as emails that infringe copyright, are prohibited.
# 6 Document Retention Guidelines: Provide information on whether emails are archived and how long. If the organization needs to archive e-mail, set up to archive all emails and include the number of yearly records. If you do not have to archive your emails, tell the users whether they can delete emails for several months or years.
# 7 Managing Confidential Data: How to Address Employees with Confidential Information and Business Secrets. You also need to know that you will not send any confidential message or attachment from other companies without permission. Employees will encrypt confidential information that has been sent by email and that changes regular passwords.
# 8 E-mail Liability Insurance: If you add responsibility to employee email, exclude statement text. Download the Free White Paper " Email Disclaimers – Legal and Practical Issues" to learn more about why you should add the responsibility for emails.
# 9 Email monitoring: will keep track of employee emails, you'll need to enter it in the email rules. Be careful that employees do not have any expectations about respect for privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive in the company's computer system, and that the company is not obliged to observe the messages without prior notice. If you do not mention that the company is not obliged to pay attention to the messages, the employee may sue the company for not blocking the message.
# 10 Measures and Infringements Report: Employees violate the rules of the e-mail policy, this may result in disciplinary action, including termination. If an employee witnesses abusing e-mail policies, they must report the event immediately. Please provide contact information if you are in contact with the policy violation. This may be a supervisor, but it would be a good idea to designate a contact person who would violate the e-mail policy.
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