Email provision process clarification

Internal Use only 

HR Advisory Notice 13

Date: July 25th

Subject:  Email Provision Process Clarification

Distribution:  SIL Area HR leaders – Forward  to all HR staff and Unit leaders & Unit HR teams

Alliance Representatives – forward to Organisation and your team members.

Cc: HeRMiTs where appropriate please forward to your teams 


The Email Policy Implementation Team is in the process of notifying people who are using SIL email accounts which are not in compliance with the new Email Policy. These are primarily people who have an SIL email account but do not have an SIL assignment.  In the past few weeks, notices were sent to 1000+ people informing them:

  1. that based on current records their email account does not meet the current criteria, 
  2. that account decommissioning will begin 60 days hence, Some notices used specific dates instead of a time frame.
  3. linking them to help documentation for transitioning off of their old account, and 
  4. instructing them to contact their local HR team if they receive the email message in error and that HR will be able to correct the error. 

A factor to this situation is the recent transition to SIL’s new HR system, Workday. During the transition, we discovered that there are errors in the data and people’s exact status was set up incorrectly in Workday. Since the list of non-compliance email accounts is based on the data found in Workday, this list has errors in it.

One last contributing factor is that there are some organizations and OUs whose status with SIL is in transition. As a result of localization efforts and the timing of those efforts, the status of the people in  those organisations shows up “incorrectly” on the list of non-compliance accounts.

The out-of-compliance notices have caused significant concern to some who have then written the Implementation Team or contacted their HR leaders. A number of HR leaders have passed on those concerns to me. Sheryl Howe, Director of SIL Global Technology and Information Services (GTIS), and I have discussed these and have identified the following issues with action items to resolve those issues.


The Implementation Team, which is led by members of GTIS, used a report from Workday that listed who is affiliated to SIL. With all good faith they compared this list to the list of people who had SIL email accounts and sent notices to some 1000 + people who they found were out of compliance with the policy.

 As a result of this communication, 6  issues have arisen. 

  1. The list was not accurate due to data errors as noted above.  Some of this inaccuracy is because the Workday system has not been kept up to date by HR and some staff are not entered into the system.  
  2. The list used was a different list than the one  sent to Area HR Directors several months ago to verify the status of some people in their Area. Area HR Directors were asked if they wanted to deal directly with the people listed instead of having the Implementation Team work with them.  However, the list used for the recent notifications was created using current Workday data and the Workday affiliation report rather than data from Insite. Therefore some of the SIL staff that recently received notifications were not on the original list.  
  3. Policy implementation had not been communicated. The process also highlighted that HR had actually simplified a component of the policy by creating an “Accompanying Spouse” assignment but that hadn’t been communicated to the Implementation Team who were still working under the policy definition of “non affiliated spouse working outside of their home country”. This has now been communicated so we’re all on the same page.
  4. Communication Strategy: Plans were made to send a number of communication notices to a variety of people to keep everyone informed about the implementation. For the most part, this happened, but it appears that we almost had too many notices and there was confusion over who received what notice and how the notified person or HR was supposed to respond.
  5. There was a misunderstanding between HR & GTIS: HR understood the project plan called for dealing with the non-compliant email accounts in batches of 50. GTIS saw the batches of 50 as a means to gauge whether the implementation team could handle increasing the number. They could and did.
  6. There was a disconnect in dates: A parallel project was started alongside of the Email Policy Implementation project. This other project was to automate some of the activities used to maintain the e-mail system. This included the creation and decommissioning of e-mail accounts. The Implementation project plan called for certain activities to be started or accomplished on a specific date and these dates were used in early notices. However there were delays in obtaining an Affiliation report that delayed both the Implementation and Automation projects. Thus dates given in the earlier notices did not match dates given in the later notices. 

Actions requested of HR or SIL leaders:

  1. Review lists of affected accounts: When notifying those who, based on current records, are out of compliance with the Email Policy, the Implementation team will send a list of those affected accounts to all Area HR Directors 5 business days before notifications are sent next. Please be sure to pay attention to this list. A list will be sent both before the initial notification and before any reminders sent to affected individuals. 

In addition, the Implementation team will send a list of accounts affected to all Area HR Directors before accounts are decommissioned. Please review this list carefully as well, even more carefully than the notification list. A false notification can cause stress, a false decommissioning could impact work (depending on how quickly the person is able to notify HR to have their account reinstated).

  1. Assure staff who receive notification in error: Please assure your staff that if they received the notification letter in error, you will correct the error and they will not lose their email account. 

There are checks and balances being put in place to make sure as far as we are able that there will be no accidental deletions. However, if an account is decommissioned on accident, it may be reinstated. The account and all data is held (suspended) for at least six months after decommissioning and can be recovered at any time during that period

  1. Correct or notify: We want to make sure that every person who is entitled to an email account gets one. If staff are on a removal list but shouldn’t be or have received a notification message erroneously, to correct the error:
    • Correct errors in Workday: ensure that they have an SIL assignment and Workday is updated accordingly OR 
    • Notify email implementation team of VIP status: the person should be listed  on your VIP list meaning they will be processed later by hand, OR 
    • Notify Andy Peck (cc me) of anyone who was notified they would be losing their account and they should not be according to the data in Workday. The implication is that you have checked and they meet the conditions to be given an account (i.e. they have an SIL assignment3) This will allow us to identify what is incorrect with the SIL Affiliation report from Workday (the basis from which decisions are made). 
  2. Scenarios that need review: If we find a problem with a Policy or Standard, I will make changes to them to ensure the intent of the policy is clear. At this point, I have identified a number of scenarios that warrant closer review against the Policy and Standard. Please notify me if you are aware of scenarios that should be reviewed. The identified scenarios are:
    • By definition, Pipeline positions are not affiliated positions. By design affiliation happens with official work assignment. Potential staff (who are unassigned at this point),  who need to be affiliated for some HR purpose before they have signed their agreements, can be affiliated by using an override. Please contact Sheila who will be glad to assist you with this override. 
    •  Some corrective work has been done to ensure that the SIL Board of Directors are properly classified as affiliated. In truth, they already had SIL assignments and the job profile is fine as is. We are using a new approach that departs from the W-USA Board Member classification scheme.
    • When SIL staff are going on furlough, there is a need to ensure that the Sending Organisation actually has placed that person in a Home Assignment position. If they don’t, then that person’s SIL affiliation will be lost. For the 20 organisations who are using Workday, they need to do this step in Workday. For organisations not using Workday, the HR Global Support team will do this step to place the person in a Home Assignment. We are designing a report for the Global Support team to know to do this step. However we also need to continue to work with Google Admins to ensure that the account deletion automation process accounts for the fact that it sometimes takes weeks for a Sending Org to make the Home Assignment. Keith is working with GTIS to inform the design team of this problem and find an appropriate solution. This will also have an impact on the automatic ending of system access through the SIL IDP — it is also based on SIL Affiliation status.
    • Sheila Landry and Todd Langile are going to do a review of the Workday system logic regarding the people in transition to determine why some are appearing on the out-of-compliance list.
    • ALL accompanying Spouses for whom SIL has Duty of Care MUST be in an Accompanying Spouse position. Global HR are exploring how to most accurately reflect this in the policy standard for the many scenarios that we experience in SIL assignments.
    • There is a list of collegial organisations that need to be put on the VIP list to allow time to fully understand and document their situations. Any email addresses of people associated with these organisations are maintained as they are.
      1. SIL Australia (SILA)
      2. Yayasan Suluh (SUL) 
      3. NLCI (India)

  3. Encourage those transitioning from an old email account to start now: Implementation date: The Implementation Team communication indicated that one deadline is Sept 1st but Sheryl has confirmed this will now be Oct 1st. Therefore encourage those who will lose access to their email to go ahead and make arrangements now for a personal email account. Encourage them to read the helps provided by the Implementation Team in their communications. If they have technical questions about this transition they can contact 
  4. Recognize emotions are high: Of course you’re aware of the heightened emotions transition causes. Encourage all staff to acknowledge and empathize with those who are experiencing an emotional reaction to receiving a notification. Remind staff in HR, leadership, and IT, that people need to have emotions acknowledged and they may need time to work through them before they can talk about solutions. Don’t assume based on initial emotions that a person will be unable to transition. .

A lesson learned may be that documentation is important and there is a real need to check what is meant by one team is not mis-interpreted by another. This a place we can extend grace to each other. 

Oct 1 isn’t that far away so please be attentive to any who feel their email access should not be removed and deal with them with compassion and grace. Please keep Andy and Keith in the loop on difficult situations. There are a few cases where Policy isn’t delivering the correct answer to the Implementation Team and Andy and Keith want this to be picked up ASAP.  Likewise we want to be attentive to correcting errors and making sure the next list from Workday is more accurate.


  • Please make sure you are aware of the email the Implementation Team sent to the Email Admin teams and the limited terms of extending the 60 day period. (this is provided below)
  • Please note: the Implementation Team wants to make sure that you have contacted those people you said you would contact. 
  • Please be sure you are aware of the letter to people and the letter to HR from the Implementation Team.
  • To reiterate something that has not been said in a while, SIL Corporate Email accounts are for SIL business and are not intended for personal use. While many people use these accounts for personal messages in addition to their SIL business purposes, we should avoid using them exclusively for personal purposes and minimize our personal use of them. This point is worthy of passing on to all Units and staff.

If you have any questions or comments please email Andy & Keith so we can stay on top of this issue.

Keith Robinson CHRO July 25th

Sample letter to email holders

Dear {name},

Please do not ignore this email; this is not part of our ongoing SIL phishing training program. The status of your account depends on actions taken in response to this email. Please email if you have any questions about the authenticity of this message.

By now you should have received a notification about SIL’s revised Corporate Email Account Policy. In response to new data protection regulations, SIL has reevaluated our policies and established clearer guidelines about who qualifies for a corporate SIL email account. In brief, to have an account in SIL’s system, a person must a) be filling a work assignment within SIL, b) be on home assignment, or c) be a non-assigned spouse who is living outside of their home country.

Based on current records, this email account, {first_Last}, does not meet the required criteria. If you believe this is incorrect, please contact your local human resources staff and they will be able to correct the error. 

We will begin decommissioning accounts starting September 1, 2019, planning on providing you 60 days from this notice. We want to make sure that you have the time and information you need to transition to another provider, so please contact us if you feel this will not be adequate for your situation.

We encourage you to review “Email Policy: What you should know”. This will provide more information, answer questions, and provide links to information about how to move personal content from your account. Be aware that you can only access this information using your SIL email address.

We strongly recommend that you begin the process now of moving any personal (non-SIL) content (email, contacts, etc.) out of your account into another email account and that you inform those with whom you correspond to change the address they use to communicate with you. 

Questions that are not addressed in any of the referenced documents can be sent to

Your SIL Google Admins,

Bob, Jon, Mark

(Bob Coman, Jon Limmer, Mark Jenkins)

For Mail Admins and local HR Staff only

Using a mailing list provided by the Workday team, SIL Google Admin sent notifications last Thursday to over 900 accounts whose users appeared to not satisfy the SIL email policy.  Since the beginning of this month, over 1100 account owners have now been contacted.


  • While the notification process was effective overall, we estimate that ~2% of the notifications were sent to people that actually do meet the email policy standards and whose accounts will not be decommissioned.  
  • We’re sorry to have upset even so few a number of people unnecessarily but are able to better improve the future accuracy of the data Workday provides us.
  • It quickly became obvious that many people did not access the helpful resources (Google Docs) that we referenced.  Encourage people to read all the material first.
  • The Google Docs referenced in the notification must be accessed using a SIL account.  A number of users have tried using consumer Gmail or another Alliance account. All requests in these cases are denied.
  • There are many who were not familiar with the email policy (announced in the February issue of CURRENT) and are upset both at SIL decommissioning the account and the little time they have been offered before this event
  • We will delay beginning any account decommissioning until the beginning of October, which is more than the promised 60 days after notification.
  • Many users negotiated for extensions, some up to a year.  SIL is only granting extensions, perhaps an additional 60 days, under unusual and unexpected circumstances that prevent the user from meeting the deadline.  All extensions can only be approved after HR review and then communicated to SIL Google Admin.

“Do Not Contact”

A number of entities provided lists of users whose addresses were to be decommissioned that the entity would contact directly.  We hope the discussions actually happened, probably back in May.  

In SIL Google Admin’s message to you on July 10, we suggested you ensure that your entity has, in fact, communicated with these individuals because GTIS has not.  We do not want these people to “fall through the cracks”. It’s now time for the entity to reconnect with these people, provide the latest information, and ensure they have access to the materials we have posted online to help them.

Next Steps

  • Encourage those notified to contact local HR staff and ensure that Workday accurately reflects their SIL status.  This is the only way to protect their account from decommissioning.
  • There are possibly another 200 people that may need to be notified of their account being closed.  As the Workday team provides such lists, SIL Google Admin will send out the same notification message as last week’s.
  • SIL Google Admin will send out a “final” notification to all accounts to be decommissioned two weeks before October 1.  We will not email anyone on your “Do Not Contact” list.

Any questions about the email policy should be directed to  Any questions about the decommissioning process or technical questions should be directed to

This information is being shared with you to inform you of what is coming. Please do NOT share generally or post on intranets or Google groups at this stage. Do, however, pass this along to HR staff.

SIL Google Admin

Bob, Jon, Mark