Free Sample Email Usage Policy
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Sample Email Usage Policy

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Title:    E-MAIL USAGE


[   ]  Senior Management Team

[   ]  Vice President

Source: Administration

Date Reaffirmed:

Date Revised:

Date Effective:

1.     POLICY

·         E-mail users must adhere to the Employer’s policies, mission and values.

·         E-mail is intended for business use.

·         E-mail users must adhere to all laws, codes of conduct, and regulations.

2.     PURPOSE

·         To ensure that e-mail is used appropriately by users of the network and network services.

·         To increase awareness and understanding of how to use e-mail efficiently and effectively and to:

·         Inform staff about potential breaches of confidentiality through e-mail

·         Show staff how to properly handle viruses

·         Show staff how to use various e-mail functions:

·         Attachments

·         Forwarding

·         Security

·         Content

·         Distribution

·         Storage

·         Inform staff of the consequences of improper use of e-mail

·         Inform staff about appropriate representation of Employer ABC


·         Staff will at all times:

·         Ensure messages are written in a professional manner.

·         Represent themselves in an honest and accurate manner.

·         Conduct themselves appropriately in their use of e-mail.

·         Act in a manner that will promote the ABC in a positive way.


·         All policies apply to the use of e-mail, including policies that address privacy, misuse of ABC resources, sexual harassment, information and data security and communication.

·         The e-mail system will only be used for legal and ethical purposes.

·         Staff will transmit messages that respect others.


·         Client information must not be sent through e-mail unless the sender and receiver both know the information is for their eyes only or unless encryption software is used.


·         Files over enter size megabyte or enter number pages should not be sent as e-mail attachments.

·         E-mail messages should not be saved longer than enter number months.  The E-mail Administrator will send users a warning message when their mailbox has exceeded the allowable space.

·         Mass distribution of forwarded e-mails from any source such as, jokes, trivia, stories, animated greeting cards, and promotional material will not be sent through the e-mail system.

·         Users will not forward chain letters to other staff members.

·         Consult Information Systems for more information regarding the types of files that may be sent.


·         Users will prevent unauthorized access to their e-mail accounts by using passwords.

·         Users will be responsible for any activity on their account.

·         It is strictly prohibited to use or force entry into another user’s e-mail account without permission.

·         Employer ABC will investigate and report any inappropriate uses.

·         Inappropriate use will lead to disciplinary action accordance with Human Resources Policies.

·         Employer ABC reserves the right to access, review or copy all e-mail messages for any business purpose and to disclose them to any appropriate party including courts and law enforcement.

·         Use of e-mail for personal use may be conducted with the approval of the supervisor or manager.


·         Any official statement regarding computer viruses will come only from Information Systems.  Employees who receive virus warnings must NOT distribute these warnings.  Instead, Information Systems must be contacted immediately and Support Desk staff will investigate and take action.


·         The use of the ‘All ABC Users’ option has is restricted due to the stress that widely distributed e-mail messages places on the network.

·         Communications retains ABC’s corporate accountability for maintaining professional standards in communication, including e-mail.  Communications is available to all staff to provide consultation on mass or targeted e-mail distribution.

·         Manager/Supervisors are accountable for all e-mail messages going out to ‘All ABC Users’ from their respective department.

·         All messages going out to ‘All ABC Users’ will meet the criteria developed by Communications.

·         Users can use group distribution lists instead of the ‘All ABC Users’ option.  Employees not familiar with developing distribution lists should contact Information Systems.  Employees not sure how to target the information, contact Communications.

·         Examples of E-mail messages that may not be appropriate nor relevant for ‘All ABC Users’ but may be appropriate and relevant for targeted group distribution are:

·         Events

·         Greetings

·         Lost and found

·         Items for sale

·         Non-ABC related

·         Appointments

·         Departures

·         Retirements

·         Ticket sales

·         Departmental policies

·         Change of hours

·         This is not an exhaustive list.

E-mail Etiquette

Non-verbal communication is lost with the use of e-mail - things like facial expression, voice tone, eye contact, and body language.  Because these signals are lost in an e-mail message extra care must be taken in framing messages.


Group distribution lists.  Ensure the message is for the right audience.  For example, you could set up a distribution list for just your department.

Subject line.  To ensure a recipient will open your e-mail message, include a subject line and be clear and precise about the topic of your message.

Flag a message.  If a memo is urgent, you can flag it by using the tools available in your e-mail program.

Carbon copy.  The CC line is used to send a copy of your message for information only so the recipient copied doesn’t need to respond.  Ensure the CC recipients really need to know.

Blind carbon copy.  Blind carbon copy is used to keep someone informed of an issue that does not directly involve them.

Replying.  Unless an entire mail group requires an answer, reply only to the sender.  Take extra care when you are choosing to ‘reply to sender,’ ‘reply to all,’ or ‘forward’ to ensure you send the reply only to the intended parties.

Capital letters.  Do not use all capital letters in your messages, as they are the same as SHOUTING.

Fonts.  Use one font.

Color.  Use one color.

Memo length.  Do not send long e-mail messages.  For long messages, use MS Word and then attach it to the e-mail message.

Attachments.  Do not attach a document that contains only a few words.  It is courteous to include an opening statement with an attachment so that the recipient knows the attachment is intended for them.  Use caution when sending attachments requiring large levels of memory.  Large attachments can cause problems that can crash an entire computer system.


Review.  Review your message and check for:

·         General content: Does the message clearly say what you want it to say?

·         Grammar

·         Spelling

·         Correct punctuation

·         General readability: Is it easy to understand, clear, and logical?

Paragraph lengths.  Do not write lengthy paragraphs.  Appropriate paragraph lengths are 3-4 sentences or 40-50 words.  Shorter paragraphs improve the messages readability.

Acronyms.  Limit the use of acronyms and abbreviations unless the recipient is familiar with them.

Jargon.  Limit the use of jargon or technical language unless the recipient is familiar with them.


Client confidentiality.  Do not send client information through e-mail unless you know the recipient will handle the information in a strictly confidential manner.

Reply in a timely fashion.  If you are being asked to reply to a request please do so in a timely manner.  If you are too busy, let the sender know and when you expect to reply.

Behavior.  Conduct yourself as you would in any other business communication.

Spamming.  Spamming is sending unsolicited or unwanted information such as chain letters to any group of people.  They waste time and resources.  Do not create or forward chain letters to others.

Flaming.  ‘Flaming’ is the practice of electronically attacking people on a personal level – making rude comments about weight, age, religious faith, etc.  Such activity is strictly prohibited.


·         Do not send an e-mail when you are angry or in a high emotional state.

·         Give yourself time to relax and think about what you want to say.

·         Remember that e-mail cannot adequately reflect your mood at the time of writing and it can be misinterpreted.

Permanence.  An e-mail message is permanent.  Even if you have deleted a message that you received or sent, it may exist elsewhere on another desktop or server.

Any message you send, no matter how long ago could be used against you.  Archived e-mails can be acquired by a court or government agency for all sorts of cases such as discrimination, termination, or copyright infringement.

·         Never send anything that could be perceived or interpreted as inflammatory, racial, prejudicial, harassing, sexist, fraudulent, illegal, immoral, or unethical.

·         Remember that you have no control over your message once you have sent it.  It can be redistributed to others, saved, altered or used against you.  Never send anything you wouldn’t want seen by others.

·         If involved in a legal action, Employer ABC will be required to disclose all relevant business and personal e-mail.

·         E-mail is not an appropriate for sensitive issues such as employee performance and other staffing issues.

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