If you are running a business with more than one employee using your company email, you absolutely need to set a workplace email usage policy to define clear rules for your staff regarding what email can/can’t be used for.
I’ve helped business owners setup staff email accounts. Often the owner will be surprised at my recommendation to write and distribute a policy before allowing the employees to access their new accounts. Once I began to explain the potential for employees to abuse their email accounts — even unintentionally — and put the business at risk, it becomes clear why some time and thought needed to be put into defining a business policy for the staff.
What should you include in your email usage policy?
Set an email usage policy so your employees know what you expect from them. Your company email 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.
Incorporate these company email policy guidelines into your standard employee handbook. To help you get started, check out these guidelines for workplace emails.
Hope you find this useful. If you have some additional suggestions, please add to the comments below.