Email Policy YOU SEND WHAT TO WHOM? The basics of Official E-mail
Email Policy In this Presentation Wondering whether you should address your boss as "Sir" or just type a friendly "Hi" when you write an e-mail? Or are you wondering whether you should mark all your bosses on CC, while sending an official mail to a colleague? Just like every correspondence, e-mail communication too has certain guidelines. Take a look at what these are in an official workplace.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of ABC’s email system and make users aware of what ABC deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system. ABC reserves the right to amend this policy at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately.
Email is a business communication tool and users are obliged to use this tool in a responsible, effective and lawful manner. Although by its nature email seems to be less formal than other written communication, the same laws apply. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the legal risks of e-mail:
If you send emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and ABC can be held liable.
If you forward emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and ABC can be held liable.
If you unlawfully forward confidential information, you and ABC can be held liable.
If you unlawfully forward or copy messages without permission, you and ABC can be held liable for copyright infringement.
If you send an attachment that contains a virus, you and ABC can be held liable.
By following the guidelines in this policy, the email user can minimize the legal risks involved in the use of e-mail. If any user disregards the rules set out in this Email Policy, the user will be fully liable and ABC will disassociate itself from the user as far as legally possible.
The following rules are required by law and are to be strictly adhered to:
It is strictly prohibited to send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks. If you receive an e-mail of this nature, you must promptly notify your supervisor.
Do not forward a message without acquiring permission from the sender first.
Do not send unsolicited email messages.
Do not forge or attempt to forge email messages.
Do not send email messages using another person’s email account.
Do not copy a message or attachment belonging to another user without permission of the originator.
Do not disguise or attempt to disguise your identity when sending mail.
BY THE GLOBAL BUSINESS STANDARDS, YOUR PROFESSIONALISM IS DEMONSTRATED BY:
The time you take in replying to an e-mail
Each business e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours and preferably within the same working day.
The use of correct grammar and spelling
Improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of your company, it is also important for conveying the message properly.
Short and to-the-point communication
Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be.
You message must be complete. Instead of writing “call me sometime”, or “let’s meet after lunch”, be definite and read “call me at 12 noon”, or “let’s meet at 2 pm after lunch.” E-mails must express the writer’s intent clearly.
The format and structure of the email
Use short paragraphs and space between each paragraph. When making points, number them or mark each point as separate.
The use of meaningful subject line
Try to use an e-mail subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. Make it clear and keep it to a maximum of 7 words. “Meeting time changed” does not tell the recipient which meetings. A proper subject line would read “12 noon meeting now at 3 pm.”
ABC considers email as an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of proper email content and speedy replies in conveying a professional image and delivering good customer service. Therefore, ABC wishes users to adhere to the following guidelines:
ABC’s email style is informal. This means that sentences can be short and to the point. You can start your e-mail with ‘Hi’, or ‘Dear’, and the name of the person. Messages can be ended with ‘Best Regards’. The use of Internet abbreviations and characters such as smileys however, is not encouraged.
Your email signature
Signatures must include your name, job title and company name. A disclaimer will be added underneath your signature (see Disclaimer)
E-mail paragraphs should be logical
In e-mail communication a paragraph should carry 3-7 sentences that are on the same topic. The most important sentences are the first and the last. Middle sentence support the point(s) made in the first paragraph.
Read the email before you send it
Use the spell and grammar checker before you send out an email.
Do not send unnecessary attachments. Compress attachments larger than 200K before sending them.
Do not write in CAPITALS
This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.
Use cc: field sparingly
Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. Do not use cc: or bcc: fields unless the cc: or bcc: recipient is aware that you will be copying a mail to him/her and knows what action, if any, to take. Mark to those for whom the e-mail is “for information only”.
Do not copy a message or attachment without permission
Do not copy a message or attachment belonging to another user without permission of the originator.
Don't leave out the message thread
Only send emails of which the content could be displayed on a public notice board. If they cannot be displayed publicly in their current state, consider rephrasing the email, using other means of communication, or protecting information by using a password (see confidential).
Do not overuse the high priority option
If you overuse the high priority option, it will lose its function when you really need it. Only mark emails as important if they really are important.
Do not use email to discuss confidential information
Sending an email is like sending a postcard. If you don't want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board, don't send it.
Do not use long sentences
Try to keep your sentences to a maximum of 15-20 words. Email is meant to be a quick medium and requires a different kind of writing than letters.
Do not use abbreviations and acronyms
In business emails, do not use abbreviations and acronyms. The reader may not be familiar with abbreviations or acronyms used in your industry.
Do not ask to recall a message
It is better just to send an email to say that you have made a mistake. This looks more honest than trying to recall a message.
Do not overuse Reply to All
Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message. Don’t shoot off e-mails to everyone if it is not relevant to everyone. Mark only to relevant people who need to take action or learn from the e-mail. Check the recipient's column before shooting out.
Do not use fancy or unpopular fonts
FONTS are fun to play with, but they impact readability and are not supported by all systems .
So use Arial as the standard font in your official e-mails.
Emails should be answered within at least 8 working hours, but users must endeavor to answer priority emails within 4 hours.
Priority emails are emails from existing customers and business partners.
Users need to request permission from their supervisor before subscribing to a newsletter or news group.
Delete any email messages that you do not need to have a copy of, and set your email client to automatically empty your ‘deleted items’ on closing.
Email Policy HOW TO ADDRESS THE RECIPIENT: Dear Ambrish Dear (First Name) Colleagues & Juniors Respected All (if seniors) Dear All (if colleagues) More than one person on “To” list Respected Sir Dear Sir / Madam ED, HOD, Supervisors, Senior Colleagues Dear Mr. Khurana Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname) Clients Example To be Address As… Recipient
Although ABC’s email system is meant for business use, the Company allows the reasonable use of email for personal use if certain guidelines are adhered to:
Personal use of email should not interfere with work.
Personal emails must also adhere to the guidelines in this policy.
Personal emails are kept in a separate folder, named ‘Private’. The emails in this folder must be deleted weekly so as not to clog up the system.
The forwarding of chain letters, junk mail, jokes and executables is strictly forbidden.
On average, users are not allowed to send more than 2 personal emails a day.
Do not send mass mailings.
All messages distributed via the company’s email system, even personal emails, are ABC’s property.
Avoid sending confidential information by e-mail. If you do, you must secure the information by including it in a Microsoft Word or Excel file and protecting it with a password. Then provide the recipient with the password by means of other communication, for instance by telephone.
Email Policy THE DISCLAIMER The following disclaimer will be added to each outgoing email: ‘ This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The company accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email.’
Email Policy SYSTEM MONITORING You must have no expectation of privacy in anything you create, store, send or receive on the company’s computer system. Your emails can be monitored without prior notification if ABC deems this necessary. If there is evidence that you are not adhering to the guidelines set out in this policy, ABC reserves the right to take disciplinary action, including termination and/or legal action. EMAIL ACCOUNTS All email accounts maintained on our email systems are property of ABC. Passwords should not be given to other people and should be changed once a month. Email accounts not used for 60 days will be deactivated and possibly deleted. QUESTIONS If you have any questions or comments about this Email Policy, please contact Training Department. If you do not have any questions ABC presumes that you understand and are aware of the rules and guidelines in this Email Policy and will adhere to them.
I have read, understand and acknowledge receipt of the Email policy. I will comply with the guidelines set out in this policy and understand that failure to do so might result in disciplinary or legal action.