If you provide email accounts for your employees to use to conduct business on your behalf, be sure to define in writing a workplace email policy. These are simple, clearly defined rules of acceptable behavior.

It’s better to define acceptable behavior up front before there is an incident. Careless behavior will put your business and reputation at risk.

When writing your employee email policy, you should clearly define:

  • The business email account is to be used exclusively for work-related communications and never for personal use.
  • An employee’s personal email account should never be used for business communications with clients.
  • Since general email is insecure, never include confidential information, personally identifiable information, proprietary information, patient information, etc.
  • Passwords should be strong combination of numbers, letters (both upper case and lower case) and at least 8 characters long. It should be kept in a safe place and never shared with anyone.
  • Zero tolerance policy for hateful, disparaging, pornographic or other inappropriate messages.
  • Management has the right to review email accounts at any time.
  • Clearly define punishment for policy violations.

Take a little time, think it through carefully, and build these policy guidelines into your employee handbook.

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