Smartsheet Declines in an Approval Workflow are not going back to the original submitter

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I've set-up a Smartsheet approval workflow. When a secondary approver in the approval flow declines the entry, it DOESN'T go back to the original submitter for re-upload. Instead, the decline notification goes to the previous approver in the workflow. The decline goes back to the previous approver DESPITE the fact that within the workflow, the submitter is indicated as the notification receiver.


How do I adjust my workflow to ensure that ALL decline notifications go directly to the original submitter?


Thank you,

Answers

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Hi @Adam Dikker

    Would you be able to post images of the full workflow (but block out any sensitive data)?

    I want to check the previous Approval block workflow to see where the initial "Declined" action is configured to send (if it goes to the previous approver).

    It sounds like the behaviour you're experiencing could be caused if approval columns and values are re-used across action blocks (see the bottom of this article: Approval Workflow Behavior).

    I would suggest using different approval columns for each Approval action block (edit workflow > approval action block > save response in).

    You can also use different approval values for each action (edit dropdown column properties > add new dropdown values > edit workflow > approval action block > advanced options > customize status and buttons > "save status as" new values).

    Let me know if another workflow was the cause or not!

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

  • Adam Dikker
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    Very helpful--but unfortunately, don't believe I'll be able to share snapshots without sensitive data. That being said, will huddle with my internal company Smartsheet community--using your insights--to rectify this. Very helpful, thank you!

  • Adam Dikker
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    Genevieve--I've attached a screenshot (scrubbed sensitive data) of the workflow. Am hoping you can help provide guidance as to why this issue occurs. Thank you!


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Hi @Adam Dikker

    Are any of these columns the exact same? (They should be 3 separate Approval columns to record the individual Approver's response):


    I also am unable to see your "declined" option for the second approval request, which you noted was the current culprit. Can you scroll over to the right of your Workflow and ensure that your "If Declined" is set up the same for the first and second action blocks, where the Update goes to the "Presenter Email Address".

    Can you also identify, are there any other workflows on this one sheet? If so, what are they.

    I notice that you send the approvals to specific people, versus to email addresses that are set in a contact column. Is the second approver's email stored somewhere in the sheet, as well as in this workflow?

    Finally, how is your "Presenter Email Address" column being populated?

    Thanks!

    Genevieve

  • Adam Dikker
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    Thank you for your detailed response--there isn't any other workflow, and yes, there are individualized approval columns. Am having difficulty answering all questions via response here--would it be possible to schedule a support call with the Smartsheet team? May be easier to resolve via a share screen.


    Thank you,

    Adam

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Hi @Adam Dikker

    Yes, definitely. You can contact the Support team through this form, here.

    https://help.smartsheet.com/contact/smartsheetapp

    If you are licensed on a plan that has access to Phone support, you can give Support a call after 6am PST during the work week. The phone number can be found in your Account > Plan Info, at the bottom of the pop-up window.