Assign People in an Automated Workflow

Applies to

  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability

The sheet Owner and Admins can add the Assign people action.

With the Assign people action in automated workflows, you can add an email address or contact to a contact column in a sheet with specific triggers.

Get started with Assign people action

To assign people when a workflow is triggered:


  1. Edit or create the workflow you want to add an Assign people action to in the Automation menu.
  2. In the workflow, select + and choose + Add an action.
  3. Choose Assign people.
    Assign people
  4. Select a Contact column for the Assign people action to add an existing or new contact (defined as email address) into a specified column when the workflow is executed on the row. You can use either a single-select or multiple-select contact column.
  5. Optionally, you can select to either overwrite the existing contact in a cell or append another contact to the cell (if the cell supports multiple contacts).
    NOTE: By default, Overwrite existing values in multi-contact column is checked. The default behavior of the Assign people action is to overwrite contacts in a multi-contact column.
  6. When you are finished, select Save.

That’s it! You have now added the Assign people action to your workflow.


  • If a cell in a multi-contact column already has non-contact text in it (for example, “not applicable” or any other text that is not a contact/email address) and overwriting is disabled, the Assign People action will not add a contact into the cell.
  • Only 20 contacts per cell can be added. If a workflow is constantly appending contacts to an existing cell, that cell may reach the limit and invalidate the workflow at that time.
  • Contacts can only be added to contact columns. 
  • You can only add email addresses or existing contacts that contain email addresses with the Assign people action. Assign people action does not currently support the addition of groups, “Created By,” or “Modified By” contacts.
  • Assign people is a terminal action. You will not be able to add conditions or actions after Assign people in your workflow.
  • To prevent infinite approval loops, cells containing cross-sheet formulas or cell links will not trigger automation which automatically changes the sheet (Move Row, Copy Row, Lock Row, Unlock Row, Approval Request, Record a Date, Assign People, Change Cell, Clear Cell). To work around this, consider using time-based automation or recurrence workflows. 
  • Update cell actions need time to update the sheet, especially if there are multiple workflows. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I receiving an error message for my workflow?

You may receive an error message in your workflow due to one of the following issues:

  • The Assign people action’s Contact column is deleted, or changes to a non-contact type column.
  • The Assign people action’s Contact column is changed from multi-contact to single-contact AND multiple contacts have been selected to be assigned. 
  • The Assign people action’s Contact column plus the number of contacts to be added during execution is greater than the max number of contacts (20).
  • The Assign people action’s column is no longer write-capable (e.g., it’s a column formula).