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How document automation software saved Conga's HR team time & money

5 min read
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Conga’s People Team automates custom HR documents with Conga Composer 

As organizations increase their focus on profitable growth, teams everywhere are being asked to improve operational efficiency and do more with less without sacrificing quality. The People Team at Conga is no exception.  

Like many HR teams, Conga’s People Team is responsible for managing countless interconnected cycles: performance reviews, talent assessments, benefit open enrollments, merit and bonus adjustments, and more. Each of these processes has its own unique, complex document requirements—which requires aggregating data from multiple sources and presenting it in beautiful, on-brand ways.  


Using Conga products to automate document generation, the Conga People Team achieved their goals:  

  • Beautifully branded documents with zero restrictions on formatting, data visualizations, fonts, colors, and document types   
  • All technical work (API connections) was managed by the internal IT team without need for specialty expertise 
  • A variety of document types were created and easily stored in their HRIS 
  • Complex use cases such as creating detailed compensation statements capturing all aspects of a colleague’s compensation and any changes that may have occurred throughout the year were imagined and then created 
  • An overall scalable, efficient, reusable, and autonomous document generation process that reduced manual effort 

Before we explore those results—and how we got there—let’s learn a bit more about the challenges that led Conga’s People Team to investigate an in-house document automation solution. 


Background and challenges 

Conga’s People Team relies on Workday to manage its human resources data and processes. Workday’s platform includes native reporting capabilities, but setup and customization require niche technical skills that were not available at Conga—and would only be needed intermittently. The team had specific design criteria that could not be met with the existing solution and as a result, opted to create the custom reports manually.  This was feasible for the initial program pilot but a scalable solution would be needed when the program rolled out to the entire organization. 


  • Colleague performance reports: The team needed to generate 188 individual 360° Feedback reports in a short amount of time. Lacking the technical resources to build an automated solution in Workday, they opted to produce the reports manually by copying and pasting feedback responses from Workday into a Microsoft Word template.  
    Feedback was randomized to maintain anonymity. Responses also had to be sorted by respondent category (manager, peer, or direct report) and each employee received feedback from a different number of respondents. To further complicate matters, if an employee received less than three responses in a category, the categories were merged to protect feedback-provider anonymity. In addition, bar graphs were created to display minimum, median, and maximum scores for select questions asking feedback providers to rate proficiency. 
    Once completed, the reports required extensive quality review before being manually emailed to 60+ managers. In all, generating 188 reports took three and a half weeks of full-time work by two people.  


  • Merit and bonus statements: The People Team also needed to produce ~1500 merit and bonus statements, with 25+ permutations to reflect different compensation and bonus structures within the company. In previous years, a consultant built the reports using Workday’s native reporting tool—an investment that required 120-140 hours of work at a cost of nearly $30,000.  
    However, paying for outside expertise wasn’t enough to guarantee a seamless process. For this year’s annual compensation planning cycle, the decision was made to combine the merit and bonus statements, which was not possible with the existing solution. Therefore, an alternative was needed to generate documents at scale and be easily adapted to meet evolving requirements.  


Solution: Conga Composer + API 

With a clear need for document automation, the People Team hoped Conga Composer would be a viable solution—but they weren’t sure it was possible to connect Composer with Workday. Coincidentally, an internal team was working on an API-based solution that could integrate Workday and Composer to generate a ‘proof of concept’ termination letter for a customer.   

While Salesforce is the most common data source for Composer use cases, the API essentially serves as a highway between two separate systems—allowing Composer to receive data from any source or system of record. This made it possible to receive data from the Workday platform and utilize Composer to generate custom, branded HR documents without the technical expertise needed to use Workday’s native reporting tool. 

  • For 360° Feedback reports, the team built a branded report template in MS Word and received data from Workday to auto-populate each individual report. Composer’s robust customization options easily accommodated the design requirements to randomize the order of feedback and apply various calculations. And the reports were generated in a few hours vs weeks. 
  • For merit and bonus statements, Composer allowed the team to dynamically generate custom statements for each colleague. Different criteria and compensation types (like merit increases, commissions, bonuses, promotions, and more) were either displayed or hidden, as appropriate. Generating ~1500 highly detailed statements took less than two hours. 

Document distribution was handled through Workday. Rather than sending manual emails with the documents attached, reports and statements were automatically pushed into each employee’s Workday profile. This improved both security and ease of access—and eliminated the need to resend documents multiple times. The team was even able to modify permissions to allow managers to review feedback reports first, before making them available to employees. 


“With our previous manual process, managers had to keep track of every report emailed to them. Now everything is stored in Workday and it’s always going to be there,” said Dayna Perry, chief people officer. “If someone needs to download a report multiple times or reflect on their feedback from a previous year, they have the flexibility  to do that.” 

Dayna Perry, Chief People Officer, Conga 


Cost savings, improved efficiency, and more 

Successfully integrating Workday with Composer via API allowed the People Team to develop a scalable and efficient document generation process with complete autonomy, from start to finish. In addition to reducing their reliance on external expertise, this approach led to measurable business results. 

Using Composer, the People Team was able to:  

  • Achieve critical design elements such as delivering anonymized verbatim feedback to colleagues, which was not otherwise possible 
  • Combine both the merit and bonus statements, in a cost effective and time efficient manner, eliminating the need for external consultants 
  • Easily update the existing document templates as opportunities for improvement were identified (and going forward will be able to make annual revisions easily)   
  • Develop a repeatable process that can be managed by our internal IT team, realizing significant year-over-year time savings 

Using Composer within the People Team provided Conga’s product team an opportunity to better serve the needs of both internal and external customers. Going forward, the learnings will strengthen Conga’s ability to deliver solutions for even more complex document requirements. 


Supercharge your document processes with Conga solutions 

In today’s challenging business environment, companies have ever-increasing document requirements to manage—not only in HR, but across every team. It can be difficult to implement complex processes and connect multiple data sources without automation, but Conga Composer makes it possible. 

Conga’s People Team plans to apply Composer automation to its broader performance review process in the coming year. This will make generating consistent, digestible review documents for more than 1,500 employees possible in just a matter of hours. And with customized insights into employee performance, managers will be better equipped to make informed compensation decisions. 


“If we hired someone with the technical skills to create statements in Workday’s native platform, that’s really only valuable to the HR team,” said Perry. “But with this API, the Composer technology can integrate with many systems throughout your organization—so it’s a value-add for a variety of business units, not just HR.”  

Dayna Perry, Chief People Officer, Conga 


Ready to learn how solutions like Conga Composer can deliver value for your organization? Get a demo today! 

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