Every e-mail message transmitted by an employee reflects on the orga- nization2019s credibility and the professionalism of the writer. E-mail that is badly written and filled with typos can turn off readers and stall careers. Messages that betray confidences, reveal trade secrets, or disclose fi- nancial information can trigger lawsuits and regulatory investigations. E-mail that is menacing, harassing, pornographic, defamatory, discrimi- natory, or otherwise inappropriate can lead to terminations, litigation, and negative publicity.
An effective e-mail policy should incorporate a discussion of the rules of netiquette, or electronic etiquette. By addressing and enforcing the rules of netiquette, employers can maximize civil business behavior while minimizing the likelihood that employees will write inappropriate messages or attach offensive content that could harm the organization.
e-Policy Rule 24: Incorprate netiquette, or electronic
etiquette, rules into your organization2019s e-policy program to help
maximize civil business behavior.
Use your organization2019s e-mail policy to provide employees with formal rules for acceptable and effective electronic business communication. By its nature, e-mail is a 201Ccold201D medium. Messages written and conversa- tions held on-screen lack the warmth of face-to-face discussions and tele- phone calls, which benefit from body language or intonation.
Couple its coldness with the tendency of many writers to type mes-