The corporate email usage policy is a good foundation for your employment policies. It is meant to provide employees clear guidelines and a regulatory framework for the use of company emails. However, it should be adapted to suit your company’s individual circumstances and company culture.
Company Email: The Principle
Company email is essential to almost all forms of business communications today; the modern workplace is nearly unimaginable without it. But how we conduct emails and use the Internet – including social media and business network tools – affects our work, relationships, and business image.
This calls for a clear policy framework to guide employees on their use of company or work email addresses in a manner that protects company image while promoting business interests and providing convenience to the employee.
The purpose of this policy is to assist employees in understanding the limitations of their corporate email accounts as the company seeks to protect confidential data from undue leakage and safeguard the company’s reputation and technological property.
Anybody with access to corporate email is expected to adhere to this policy, whether employees, vendors or partners.
The email may be specific to an individual staff (e.g., email@example.com) or to a department or sector (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
Whatever the case, their use must be informed by the principles in this policy.
Email Policy Information and Components
Corporate emails should be used primarily for official communications. But the company appreciates and supports the freedom to use business emails for personal communications to optimize convenience.
This policy sets out to inform what amounts to appropriate and inappropriate use.
Inappropriate Use of Company Email
By using the corporate email address, our employees must bear in mind that they represent our company in that sense alone, and should mind the image they project. This sensitivity must be manifested in all their communications, whether official or personal.
The employees must not:
- Send out marketing information that is not vetted and authorized.
- Sign up for engagement with other websites that are suspect, either for legal or ethical reasons.
- Send out insulting, hateful, or controversial messages or content that may hurt other people.
- Send unsolicited emails to other people including colleagues, in a manner that would arouse offense.
- Register for services of competing companies without authority.
Guide to Appropriate Use
Employees can take advantage of their corporate email to boost their professional standing while furthering the interest of the company. Employees are therefore encouraged to:
- Correspond with customers, prospective customers, partners, and business associates in a manner that creates trust in the company.
- Market their email contacts to strengthen and extend business networks at trade fairs, conferences, and even at social gatherings.
- Log in, where there is legitimate access, to purchase authorized software.
- Subscribe to online resources and materials that are professionally beneficial to them and the company. This includes newsletters, blogs, special offers, etc.
The company does not restrict corporate emails for personal use subject to some level of discipline and control. Examples of proper personal use include:
- Sending emails to friends and family as long as they do not disclose unauthorized company secrets or information.
- Registering for online courses and networking sites.
- Downloading educational or other professionally useful materials for their personal or official use from safe and legitimate sources.
This policy goes hand in hand with confidentiality and company data protection guidelines, which employees should implement.
Tips on Email Security
Email is a very sensitive medium that can compromise company reputation, legality, and security of data and equipment due to corporate email hacker attacks, viruses, and other business related malware. To avoid a potential disaster and prevent this, employees must:
- Remember passwords rather than writing them down, which can risk unauthorized access. Alternatively, use an approved password storage software solution.
- Select strong passwords that are hard to guess. Ideally, choose a password with at least eight characters in a combination of lower and upper case letters, symbols, and numbers.
- Change passwords every two months.
- Avoid opening attachments and links for content that is not well understood or looks suspicious.
- Cross-check emails and names of unknown senders to ascertain their legitimacy.
- Be suspicious of clickbait titles and delete such emails if possible.
- Be wary of inconsistencies or stylistic red flags like too many mistakes, capital letters, or excessive exclamation marks.
- Keep their anti-malware programs updated across all devices.
- Cross-check with the IT department if they are unsure about the safety of any email.
Use of Email Signature
Company employee email signatures should add an aura of professionalism and business authenticity. Employees are encouraged to create signatures that exude confidence and authority while depicting the company positively.
The sales staff and senior executives who represent the company to customers and stakeholders should especially mind their email etiquette, including how they format and close emails.
An acceptable signature format looks like this:
Appended to the email signatures can be professional images, company logos, and business tag lines. Work-related videos and links can also be used. Employees in doubt or who need assistance on how to configure the signature should consult their respective managers.
Prospects of Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary action will be taken against employees who demonstrate ignorance or outright disregard of this policy. Such action could include termination of the employment contract, depending on severity.
Termination may be considered for the following reasons:
- Sending out confidential data or disclosing company secrets without authorization.
- Using corporate email to break the law.
- Sending offensive or inappropriate emails to colleagues, customers, or business associates.
Download this policy sample:
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