Industrial Relations
Administration Head
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychological Counselor,
Legal Counsel
Recruitment, Training And Development, Performance
Hiten Parekh
Hr - Pharmaceutical Industry
Hrm, Ir & Adminstration
Corporate Hr
Hr Executive
Training, Learning & Development
+15 Others

Dear All,
we are a organisation of youngster. we came across one case where 4-5 employees were interacting each other on official e-mail. it started with a nice message and then slowly that interaction converted into using abusing language. they all were kidding on official e-mail.
we are not aware weather any one of them hearted badly or not as we didnt get any complaint.
Do we need to take action on this or should we keep quiet on this.
Management is asking for my comment on this..
pls help soon...
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You should take action because if you do not stop it here, it would grow as they wont have any restriction on what they do.
Even if they are youngsters, they are now working in an organization and discipline needs to be maintained.
You can send a general mail to all employees stating that some people have been found using abusive language on official e-mail. As this was the first time only a warning is being issued and if such thing happens again, strict disciplinary action shall be taken .
I believe this would send the message across the organization and they should desist from it.
Hope this helps you.
Dear Sharma
I completely agree with Avika, whether they are youngsters or old people discipline needs to be maintained in a office enviroment, they should set an example for people who join the organization later, they can have fun time and talk in a friendly way when they are out for coffee or lunch but not inside the office.
As avika said send an intimation to all the employees that anyone who is using abusive language will have to face severe consequences. If you don't stop these types of interaction in the begining stage things wont be favorable later too.
So go ahead and ask people to maintain discipline in the office space.
hi sharma,
official mails are for official purposes only. (ab)using them is not an excuse and should not be tolerated. talk it to the offenders concerned and issue them a strong verbal warning, intimating them that any repetition of the same will lead to serious action, like disabling their rights or having all their mails (incoming and outgoing) delivered to a common id or something of that, where they are whetted before being delivered.
any misuse on official mail is not accepted and abusive language should not be tolerated at any level. mostly the ones doing should be freshers or first timers or very close friends. still ignorance of law is not an excuse and a strong deterrent needs to be worked out, not just to the offenders but to everyone else
Issue a general circular to all the employees in your organisation stating clearly that official e-mail ids are meant for official communication only and not to be used as chat forums.
There is something called as maintaining the decorum...and if they are using abusive language on official mail it should not overlooked at all. They should know that they have to maintain a strict distinction between their private and professional life.
As its the first instance you can give them a warning stating if such an act occurs again in future it would invite strict disciplinary action.
Along with this you can issue a circular for the same, this way they will understand and appreciate the seriousness of the matter.
Hi, As per my point of view inside the org email communication they should only used for official purpose not for entertainment purpose. so, you send a warning mail to all emp.
All the mess ups start with words. Weed our else see your garden being ruined. Regards, Vikram Choudhary Career One HR
I appereciate with what Jyoti has said. I did the same thing for communication skills in my Org and it really worked.
Such practices will lead to denigration of the Organization's culture.
Call ,counsel and if continued still .... take action.
Any indisciplinary act ,covert/overt should not be tolerated....
ravichandar m v
i think that this point should be discussed during induction itself from next time. Make a note in employee hand book that abusing /filthy language should not be used in office mails .For time being circulate this message a warning mail to all people.
Take actions should not necessary mean harsh actions / penalties / memos etc.
HR can and should know to act through counseling and disciplinary actions both.
If only disciplinary actions and punishments are to be taken only why we have evolved from 'Labour Officer' to 'HR Professionals'.
Use punishment as last resort but YES,,, TAKE ACTION.
Speak --> explain --> listen --> guide --> Observe.
If required after observations, use punishment.
Views shared by Jyoti are indeed good.
- Hiten
It is very easy to take action against anybody who does wrong things but it is very difficult to correct them, here as a HR person we have to correct them but not punish. Try to counsel them and correct them pls do not take any action initially if required it can be done at the final stage.
Right.They need to have some change in their concept about what an organization is.People can be forgived when they are young because they lack experience.They need to be taught.To learn is to grow up.
dear Mr. Sharma,
I do agree that severe action should be taken.I think in official(written)warning should be given to them. As they are young and immature so according to me this disciplinary action will be enough for them
I completely agree with Jyothi on this. One thing you should decide is whether to take a 'Compliance based approach' to this issue or a 'Value based approach'. Compliance based approach which emphasises on punishments for non-compliance, will reduce such activities, but only on the short term. Being youngsters they can feel offended which will reflect on their productivity.
Value based approach is what Jyothi explained. Explain the team about the values of the company and describe them that till they are with the company they should try to adhere their values to the company's values. Training on mail etiquittes, behaviour in office with peers, might be of great help to these youngsters for their future and will work for longer-term.
Dear Mr. Sharma
Eventhough we are not receiving any complaint from any one of the gang, they are using the official e mail for their communication. Hence it is against any office policy. First of all they should not use the official mail id for personal chatting and personal mail. It is accepted only for any seasons greatings and wishes on the staff members birth day, marriage anniversory etc. otherwise they should not use the official e mail id for their personal chatting. Here we have the morale responsibility to call them and warn them for misusing the e mail provided to them by the organisation.
With warm regards
S. Bhaskar
I do agree with Jyoti. But then a training Programme for all employees could be an excellent option for small org. if your org has an enormous work force then i would suggest you run a Programme for the business units leaders and supervisors and ask them to cascade the same to their reportees. In addition a communication can be sent to all employees regarding the Email policies of the company and the consequences that could follow if a misuse is reported.
This would really project you to be a company with a people friendly approach and still would drive home the message among your employees
Avika has hit the nail on its head. A very correct approach.

However, it is very necessary and important to nip the evil in the bud.

You could perhaps extract a written apology from the concerned employees and based on these written admissions and apology, issue a befitting warning letter to each of them.

It is also very important to ensure that signtures of the concerned employees are obtained on the copies of the warning letter.

And, the receipted copies should be placed in their Personal Files.

Best Wishes,

Vasant Nair
HR Advisor
Ideally its best to call them for a private meeting and counsel them. Also its good to have an induction, including the topic email etiquette. If things don't work out, issue warning letters against such misdemeanor.
make an HR manual for your organisation.
this is happened only due to your poor HR function & Hr policy.
add one clause in your policy that if anyone find of using official mail for such purpose & if anyone use vulgar language in mail then it'll treat as misconduct, & will be terminated.
after studying ur case i find that your Hr dept has not running well.
change ur induction policy
you are not able to hire a good employee for god job
make change in your pms policy, if anyone find of doing such thing then it'll directly affect on his PMS goal sheet
conduct HR audit& find out more such weakness of your departments,
put notice on your notice board about such change.
provide new employees a good induction programme.
Bye best of luck.
Dear All Companies these days frame Code of Conduct and make it part of the joining kit. With Regards V.Sounder Rajan E-mail :,
hello sir,
it is very serious matter in organization. all youngsters doing same thing in any organization. we r hr manager we have to tackle this type of problem. i think u give proper instruction about the rules like never use abussive languagge in office mails.u also take fine if someone is do in future.u manage ur people very efeectively
i think looking at the company's prestige,if only the involved staff are consulted in person and issued warning ,it will be in the favour of all.every first mistake must be pardoned.
suneil mehta
hi avika
i have gone through the comments.
1. the offcical e mails are only used for official purposes and not to settle individual scores
2. certainly it is wrong
3. instead of sending the mails to them or issuing general circulars, you should call personally and appraise them of the situation and ask them to stop this nonsense. if not, take the further steps
4. no general circulars, act directly
5. since they are young, if communicated firmly yet tenderly,they will understand and certainly theu will mend their ways.

you should take action. because abusing is something that a person doesn't like even when they are kidding. So sooner or later this could become a source of conflict in organization. The firm where i was working as internee faced lot of problem about the conflicts of labor. so when we investigated we came to know that most of the quarrels started from abusing.
So don't ignore it. Take some appropriate action.
With regards
Mubasher Javed
Hi All,
I completely agree with what Jyothi said, arrange a training program on E-mail etiquette. In the first place, the people who are doing this, as my seniors said they might be freshers and dont know much about the corporate culture, if that is the case the training program would solve the purpose. But if the people are much aware of what they are doing and they are reluctant to the company rules, then arrange a training program on E-mail etiquette and at the same time arrange an activity ,including only those guys who are involved in the e-mail loop.
Activity like ex:Correct way of using the official email Vs Wrong way, something like that.
I agree with Jyothi. e-mail and internet policy should be explained very carefully to new recruits at the time of HR- induction itself to avoid such incidents. Freshers especially will not have a good understanding about the office decorum. They need to be educated on the same.
Also, you may send out an e-mail or office memo, which mentions that these kind of 'fun at work' is purely unacceptable and official e-mail id is only for official purpose.
Sangeetha Susan
Executive - HR

I guess I'm coming in late on this. Nice to see the discussion as corporate communication has been one my favorite subject. Well, as you mentioned the org. being young it is bound to be vulnerable. Taking "action" per say, would not serve any purpose but definitely a strong message needs to be passed not only to the group indulged in this but across the org & at all levels. This certainly does not fall under professional communications by any standards. Now the questions is how to do it in an effective way. My suggestions would be A) a workshop on strategic biz communication & best practices B) followed by framing an e-mail poilcy and getting the approval of the board/mgmt on it and circulating the same. We have assisted lot of our clients on both aspects and trust me, received phenomenal response both from enterprises and individuals as it was an eye opener at individual levels on self development. Hence, you are actually helping your org and as well creating an opportunity for the employees to develop themselves for their own good! Let us know for any further assistance we might extend. Warm regards.
Please advise them to refrain from using unparliametary language on official mail or othrewise.Organising training programme for conduct expected by you is a nice idea. Alternately you may paste a notice on the notice board of your organisation for information of all the case they still indulge in using foul language , you are free to take diciplanary action against them aper service rules / standing orders.
My dear Friend,
I fully support the views of our friend Jyoti. In almost all the organizations - irrespective of the size and nature of business, induction programs are done for the freshers.
Freshers are appointed based on academic knowledge sans soft skills and hence they need to be trained on soft skills. There is not need to employ Trainers from outside and you even may ask the HODs concered to "talk" to them proactively. Kidding is not uncommon with the present day youngsters and when it crosses the limits, we must they show them their place.
Discipline should be given utmost importance lest the culture and ethics of the entire organization will get spoilt and a few others will follow suit if such unhealthy practices go unchecked.
With good wishes,
Ganesh.R Manager (Admn.) DCW Limited - Freelance HR Trainer, Psychological Counseller, Hypnotheraphist, Reiki Master & Healer

Avika is right... You must take acation against them....or speak with your IT deptt to make a watch through server...Second make a DISCIPLINARY_PLOCIY AND PROCEDURES if you dont have any policy..
Actually these sort of issue should be brought to the notice of HR from System Admin department. They should monitor all these.
Obviously once you get to know that there is some issue then plz dont wait till others complain. Its your duty to close the issue before other start complaining.
Format an decent mail and ask your system admin to circulate to all the employees in ur concern which states the exact meaning of Official email. Make it clear that severe action will be taken on those who violates this. Make it as a policy which consists of Do's and Dont's and paste it in the notice board too.
Hi Sharma,
This problem can be easily resolved, You can have an email policy, where such clauses can be included. In future if any such incidents happen, you can warn them as per the policy.
Thanks Likitha
Hi Sharma,
As I said in my previous post, please prepare an email policy and place it somewhere where everyone can read, make sure everyone reads. If anyone doesn't follow it you can warn them if they do it repeatedly, you can terminate them.
Make sure you include all the possible clauses in the policy.
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