Onboarding at Humanitas DMH: ‘Immediately upon signing, new employees are members of the club’

For Humanitas DMH (HDMH), it is important that new employees feel at home even before their first day of work. Therefore, the healthcare organization created an interactive app with Appical that contributes to the branding, matches the DNA and relieves the teams.

Two persons sitting side by side having a chat and a coffee
Company Size

From a single intro day to a complete onboarding program

Humanitas DMH (HDMH) is a nationwide care organization. Over 1,400 employees and volunteers dedicate themselves daily to supporting people with a learning disability and often multi-problems, who reach out for our help. We especially don’t say handicap anymore because we don’t think in disabilities but in opportunities.

As a specialist in the field of labor market communication, recruitment & selection, Sanne van Leeuwen advises the MT and team managers throughout the country. "When I started at HDMH 4 years ago, there was very little arranged in terms of onboarding. We only had an introduction day. I wanted to put something fun and interactive in place for our employees. New employees have an average of 2 months notice; there is a chance that they will receive another offer within that time. It was our desire to make new employees feel part of HDMH from the moment they sign the contract until their first day at work."

A second goal was to relieve the burden on team managers. "We have more than 1,200 employees, while there is only one HR advisor per region. We work decentralized. This means that the teams themselves are responsible for their recruitment & selection, and therefore also for onboarding. To ensure that every new employee feels at home and receives the right information, we have opted to set up an onboarding program centrally. This way we can relieve the teams and ensure consistency during onboarding."

People having a coffee and fun
Employees in the office of Humanitas DMH

Arranging onboarding nationwide

"I had heard about Appical from other healthcare organizations. After my own onboarding period, I indicated within the organization that I wanted to use the onboarding platform. Naturally, questions were asked: What is it? How does it work? The numbers don't lie. Good onboarding ensures that employees stay in service longer. That and my enthusiasm about the possibilities that an onboarding app has to offer ensured that the MT also became enthusiastic. Because that's how we can make a difference. And that's how we can provide all employees with the right information and a warm welcome feeling.

"What followed was an initial session with Appical's onboarding consultant, and a working group consisting of corporate communications, a behavioral expert, a team manager, an MT member and shop floor employees. Together we came up with a storyline. I rewrote the existing corporate texts in the right style, and I checked with colleagues whether the information corresponded with what they experience every day. Then we went live. Nerve-racking! But the great thing is that you can update the content at any time of the day."

Our DNA in every chapter

"From the moment the employment interview is held and the contract is signed, new employees are part of HDMH. The onboarding via Appical is mainly focused on preboarding: after the first working week, no new content is offered in the app. After that, the activities of the new employees become too location dependent. The activities in the app are complemented by a buddy who shows the employee around, a monthly (digital) introduction day and various internal trainings."

"The platform contributes to our branding. This branding is an experience: we are a special organization. Our humanistic values are clearly tangible. We want to show this during the preboarding. Or better yet: from the very first contact. Employees are happy with our organization. That was already visible in our vacancy texts, and now also in the app. You can feel our DNA in every chapter."

"We stand for equality: it doesn't matter if I send something to a director or another colleague. I write the same thing. You can see that in our app as well. It is accessible; we use simple texts. We are really curious about who someone is. Skills can be learned, but who are you and what are your dreams? That is what we want to know. So during introductory talks we also ask: Who are you? And what makes you happy?"

'Appical is much more than an app'

Appical offers knowledge and know-how, round table discussions, and a network. I gain knowledge from a club that I can always spar with and that feeds me with ideas. It contributes to my professional knowledge, which is important because I am the only one in this field within the organization. Appical is a permanent part of my network.

8.5 for onboarding

“Employees rate the onboarding process with an average of 8.5. This is something which I am super proud of. People talk about it and e-mail us with ideas for the app. It really lives in the organization. That is what I wanted: for people to feel welcome and enthusiastic on their first day at work. It's a nice bonus if this means they stay longer. This way we create loyal ambassadors.”

"What do our employees like best? The personal stories of the employees! But also, that the atmosphere of the organization can be felt in the app."

Further personalization

"We want to personalize our app even further. First of all, by making a difference in the level of education. The content remains the same, but we adjust the order in which we offer the information. In my experience, our colleagues with a secondary vocational education prefer to receive practical information about the first day at work first, instead of the mission and vision. What is it like on the work floor? Who are the people I will be working with?"

'My advice? Just start!'

"My advice for other organizations? Just start! Create two chapters first. Then at least you have more than you have now. Usually, you want to share too much information at once. I always think 'how would I like it myself if I apply here and get hired?' Keep that in mind."

Did you know...

  • 1/3 of Humanitas' new employees come in through referral recruitment
  • You get flowers on your first day at Humanitas DMH
  • We hold a fun-filled introduction day once a month for new employees from all over the country
  • We organize a 3-day festival for our employees every other year
People at the office
Employees of Humanitas DMH at work.
Sanne van Leeuwen
“It's more than just an app, Appical provides me with knowledge, feeds me ideas and always gives me the opportunity to spar. It has become a permanent part of my network."
Sanne van Leeuwen
Consultant Labor Market Communication

What employees say about Appical

Employee Humanitas DMH

"I was really impressed that Humanitas DMH thought of me even before I was employed. The app gave me practical info and the organization was explained in a nice way: the vision, history and board members. The whole thing was very pleasant, because I did not have to read large pieces of text. I could easily pick up the app. It is a nice way to get acquainted with HDMH and a practical preparation for the first day."

Welcome video of Humanitas DMH

Welcome new colleague

HDMH believes it is important for new employees to feel at home quickly. Therefore, even before the first day at work, they make them familiar with the mission, vision and core values, their colleagues, and distinctive way of working. The theoretical information is interspersed with quizzes to make the content interactive and manageable.
Quiz chapter in the onboarding app of Humanitas DMH

Ready to go?

A new job can be nerve-racking: What should I wear? Will I get breakfast, lunch, or dinner? And can I park nearby? No stress! HDMH does everything in its power to ease your nerves. Not only with practical information, but also with tips on what to expect from your new job and a checklist for the first day at work. Handy!
Chapter about the services of Humanitas DMH

Get to know the services

In HDMH's app, the new employee not only reads about the various services the organization offers, but also gets to know some of the clients and colleagues. By sharing personal stories, you really get a feel for the support they provide.
Feedback chapter: new hires can give feedback

Your training period

How do you use the printer? What are social media do's and don'ts? How to set up your digital signature? But also: what is the code of conduct within HDMH? The new employee receives all the information needed to immediately become familiar with the organization. 
Chapter where new hires get information about ergonomics

Vitality and energy

 "As an employee, you are at your best when you feel good about yourself." That's why HDMH shares tips for the right work posture, working out with co-workers, a cooking app for healthy eating, and 5 tips for a better work-life balance. Well done!