Email Acceptable Usage Policies

Written by Gregg Ruais
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Email usage policies are most effective when well communicated throughout an organization. All employees within a company should be made aware of email policies, how the rules are enforced, and what the possible ramifications are for violating those regulations. Open communication dissuades people from abusing company email and improves HR-employee relations by building trust between the two groups.

For example, if the compliance officer in a financial services firm reads through every email sent outside the company, people should know that beforehand. They don't want to find out after they've sent 50 personal emails to their significant others. Sending personal emails may not be against a company's policy, but people should know if their bosses read their messages.

Communication of Email Policies Improves Efficiency

Many companies have very strict email policies. If the rules state that using company email for private use can lead to termination, that policy should be in an employee handbook. Moreover, it never hurts when managers periodically review the rules. While it may seem like redundant news, going over policies can potentially save people's jobs and will definitely increase the awareness of certain rules.

Managers who have access to reports that detail employee email usage can mention the software they use at meetings. This isn't a scare tactic. It's informative. By dissuading employees from misusing company email accounts, managers take away a possible outlet for procrastination and improve operational efficiency.

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