Customer stories: DPG Media

DPG media huapii

About DPG Media Netherlands

DPG Media Group is a Belgian media company with 5.836 employees. One of their branches is DPG Media Netherlands, the largest media organisation in the Netherlands. The company is active in radio, newspapers, magazines, and online services.

The Problem: a lack of ownership

Across teams the ownership regarding evaluations was often unclear. People leaders wanted to lead by example but lacked a supportive tool to help them with constructive conversations.

“Instead of a feedback culture there was a culture of excuses that was holding us back and made us miss the bigger picture and core values to jointly build towards the same goals,” says Desiree. 

There was no general system in place to track information because all data was fragmented in outdated systems. On top of that DPG Media’s feedback culture wasn’t formalised yet. Their teams were not able to exchange feedback because here was no established environment to exchange feedback and speaking out was not a part of the communication process.

Based on these issues and goals HR came up with the term ‘GRIP’ which stands for Growth, Results, Interaction and Perspective. With this approach they want employees to take the lead in their own career and be responsible for their own personal growth.

GRIP stands for Growth, Results, Interaction and Perspective which also stands for our collaboration with huapii.

DPG Media’s choice: A GRIP on the future.

Just as our society is continuously changing, the company is also constantly moving. DPG media’s platform of choice had to match their ambition to make their employees owners of their own careers. This way they wanted to take employability to the next level.

First, DPG Media Netherlands talked to their employees and their people leaders and asked: If you talk about performance management, what do you think about it? What do you need? And what tool or support system would help you? The most important and sought-after aspect that came out of these questions was simplicity.

With that foundation in mind, DPG Media Netherlands set up four pillars that are a crucial part of the performance management process when looking for a new tool: Setting and establishing objectives and goals, personal development, giving and receiving feedback and continuous, transparent & qualitative conversations. After extensive market research, huapii came out on top as it offers the possibility for employees to take ownership of their objectives and their career and it best conveys the experience of what DPG Media was looking for.

Implementation and onboarding 2022

After a ready and successful launch with DPG Media Belgium, the implementation of the huapii platform started at the end of September. By the end of October, the platform was live and fully customised in the branding style of DPG Media. “In the course of November, we started with a successful pilot of 30 employees. Next, we rolled out the solution to the managers. During dedicated workshops they learned what is expected from their role and which added value they can offer through huapii,” says Desiree.

After the success of the first implementation, DPG Media plans to add the features ‘talent management’, ‘profiles’ and ‘career development’ in Q1 to further future-proof their talent management.

Reaction to change & benefits

Before getting our employees used to the tool and GRIP-approach, we had to make sure everyone was on board with the change in their philosophy,” says Desiree. “If you’ve never given feedback before as a people leader, it’s very difficult to do that spontaneously. You have to create a mindset that makes them talk openly and recognise that change can be a painful process.”

 With huapii as an enabler of this GRIP-philosophy multiple benefits were accomplished. DPG Media was able to move and activate employees to work on their own objectives, instead of preconceived objectives by their managers. This also encouraged employees to get started on setting personal development goals that they could reach, making themselves the centre of their careers.

Another benefit was the change into a safe feedback culture with qualitative, regular and inspiring conversations. Showing employees that you care about their goals and ambitions is a practice that boosts their morale and happiness at the workplace. This change in culture sparked a change in attitude as well. After a while, employees became more skilled in giving and receiving feedback and embraced constructive criticism for their personal development.

Not only was huapii an enabler of a new feedback culture, but the physical form of communication within the platform also ensured that employees really slowed down and reflected on themselves, their growth and their objectives. Desiree confirms: “By letting people set their own objectives, they feel more engaged. This also saves time for the manager in the end. The key here is to trust your employees and their capabilities.”

Finally, once the adoption process was set up, DPG Media Netherlands gained insight into their employees’ development levels and needs, making sure they were always one step ahead.

huapii In Three Words

We asked Desiree  to describe huapii in three points:

1. Simplicity

Not only is huapii easy to use but it’s easy to adapt as well. 

We were struck most by the simplicity of huapii. You can’t get lost and the flexibility of making it your own by choosing your own colours and wording makes it as much of a DPG Media tool as a huapii tool

2. Ownership

Employees take ownership of their careers which creates an environment in which they feel free to express themselves openly and honestly.

3. Increased leadership culture

There are now concrete objectives with regular check-ins that support continuous performance. 

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Continuous Performance Management

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Co-Founder & COO

I always found a way to get or to create for myselfs jobs where I could achieve my life’s purpose: connecting with people and helping them grow (while growing myself).

After studying general management and HR in Lyon, I joined Solvay where I had several rich & diverse HR experiences. I worked in Lyon, Brussels and Paris, to finally come back to Brussels and accept the challenge of creating and managing Solvay’s Digital Studio flagship.

Being an intrapreneur leading an innovation incubator, taking part of creating a new ways of working platform that transformed the company culture and HR woke up my inner intrapreneur and made me jump into co-founding huapii!

Today at huapii I use my HR and change experience to make the workplace a developing and empowering place to be.