We’ve all heard of CORPUS: the ‘edutainment’ experience that literally takes you on a journey through the human body. CORPUS’ goal is clear: in addition to offering visitors a unique experience, they teach them about healthy eating and drinking and the importance of exercise and mental resilience, in a fun, accessible and educational way. How does Dyflexis contribute to the work culture and efficiently getting this message across? We talked to Jannes Aalders, CEO at CORPUS.
Jannes Aalders, CEO at CORPUS
How the journey through the human body came about
Henri Remmers came up with the idea for CORPUS. He was determined to make his contribution to raising awareness about how the human body works. He wanted to do it his way, however: by creating a complete and educational experience. To make this dream reality, he joined forces with architects, medical specialists and nutritionists, among others. And successfully so: in 2008, CORPUS opened its doors at the Leiden Bio Science Park. Jannes: “We show visitors how the human body works – your body.”
Our experience literally takes you on a journey through the human body. We motivate visitors to live a healthy life, get enough exercise, and eat responsibly. We also inspire them to always stay curious, explore independently, and, above all, ask lots of questions about everything. After all, learning new things keeps your brain fit!” CORPUS makes this awareness happen not only with their experience, but also by organizing events and conferences in the CORPUS Congress Centre and by selling unusual gadgets and gifts in the CORPUS Gift Shop.
Innovation and insight
Jannes: “We have been all about innovation from the get-go.” This is immediately obvious in the striking building they had designed especially for CORPUS: a giant seated person, a whopping 35 meters tall. It is an innovative and unique architectural work. Jannes: “We started CORPUS with the journey through the human body and with additional exhibitions in cooperation with our Health Partners. We make sure the experience keeps up with the times by continuously improving our journey with the latest technologies.
What’s more, we host more than 180 conferences and events every year and actively collaborate with colleges and universities. In this way, we make sure we are always on top of scientific developments.” A modern and versatile organization like this requires an equally innovative and versatile Workforce Management system. Jannes: “CORPUS has been using Dyflexis since 2017, and I would never dream of going back to anything else. I already knew of Dyflexis through a previous employer and had had good experiences with them. When I started working at CORPUS in 2020, I was so happy to find that they were already using Dyflexis.”
“We allocate all shifts fairly between our employees and do not select them based on hourly wages. Nevertheless, we are saving on personnel costs with Dyflexis.”
CORPUS welcomes more than 200,000 guests annually. A team of 37 permanent employees and 85 flex workers makes sure they all have the best possible experience. All these employees indicate via the app when they are available, and the planner takes this into account when setting up the schedules. They distribute everything as fairly as possible when filling shifts and do not do this based on employees’ hourly wages. Jannes: “We often work with young people and we offer them a living wage. This contributes to our principle that everyone is equal.”
Given that CORPUS has different opening hours on weekdays and weekends, they work with eight different standard schedules. Every week, they choose the schedule that best fits the staff capacity and how busy they expect things to get. Jannes: “Needless to say, the events do not have standard timings, so we make customized schedules for those. Fortunately, this is not a problem for my colleagues or Dyflexis: they are both very flexible.”
“Dyflexis, gives us insight into the efficiency of our staffing.”
CORPUS has nine operational departments in total, including their restaurant, gift shop, and, of course, the various floors in the journey through the human body. The shifts and their associated working hours vary by department. Jannes explains why they opted for varying shift times: “When we first started out, everyone started their workday at the same time. Dyflexis gives us insight into the efficiency of our staffing. We host eight groups per hour for the journey through the human body. Visitors end their journey on the top floor. It makes sense, then, that the employee at that section can start later in the morning, because it is the visitors’ last stop. The reverse applies at the end of the day: for the last trip of the day, the employee on the first floor is the first one to finish. This allows us to make significant savings on personnel costs, even though we don’t schedule people based on their hourly wages. You can only gather insights like these with a good Workforce Management system like Dyflexis.”
Centered around people and employees
Jannes: “Working at CORPUS is obviously great fun every day. But during the festive season, we also treat our employees to holiday allowances.” In addition to a living wage and allowances, CORPUS is committed to giving their employees the appreciation they deserve in other ways as well. After all, CORPUS is centered around people: they care not only about the human body, but certainly also their employees.
Jannes: “Our organizational culture is as contemporary as our journey. We think it is important that everyone feels comfortable and is not afraid to be themselves. If people feel happy at work, this contributes to the collegial atmosphere and how visitors experience the atmosphere. The most important thing is that we warmly welcome them and tell the CORPUS story with enthusiasm.” This excellent atmosphere is created in several ways.
Jannes explains how CORPUS goes about this: “At first, everyone used to be dressed in conservative corporate wear, but now every day is casual Friday here. Everyone can decide for themselves what they want to wear. The only rule is that shoes and trousers should be neat and clean – needless to say, we need to look presentable. People can also decide on their hairstyle, and piercings, as long as they look neat and presentable. Every person is unique, and the same is true for our organization. However, everyone wears a CORPUS shirt so they are recognizable to visitors.”
“Thanks to Dyflexis, all our employees always know where they stand. This approach creates peace of mind and mutual trust.”
CORPUS maintains an open-door policy. They have a confidential adviser and a works council, and all managers, including Jannes himself, are approachable to anyone who needs them: “I feel connected to my employees and try my best to keep everyone happy. I offer a listening ear and give people advice if they ask for it. My employees really do come first.” Dyflexis is also an important part of the CORPUS work atmosphere. Jannes: “Because the system is so user-friendly and transparent, it contributes to our employee satisfaction. Everyone knows exactly when they need to work and how much Time for Time and leave hours they have. We also use the newsletter feature to communicate important issues internally. Thanks to Dyflexis, all our employees always know where they stand. This approach creates peace of mind and mutual trust.”
International growth spurt
“Before, we used to do our planning in Excel. It took up a lot of our time and at some point, we completely lost the overview. Dyflexis was exactly the improvement we needed. Now scheduling is easy, quick, and organized. All our operations employees, the technical department, and the finance department use the Rex-O-Matic to clock in. Jannes adds, “Thanks to the clocking system, we know exactly who is present when. We can also approve hours efficiently, which gives us insight into personnel costs and hours incurred by department.”
“The insights of Dyflexis contribute to our international mission to help people live healthier lives.”
It may sound obvious, but CORPUS welcomes more visitors in bad weather than in good weather. When it’s sunny outside, people prefer the outdoors instead of spending their free time indoors. Jannes: “With logical thinking and our work experience, we know these things of course. But thanks to Dyflexis, we can easily link sales to external data like weather and costs which we ourselves can’t influence. “Partly due to inflation, rising energy costs, and higher pension and personnel costs, among other things, ticket prices are also going up. With the dashboards and reports in Dyflexis, CORPUS can strategically manage their business operations. In this way, they know where the savings opportunities are and can substantiate policy choices with data.
All these new insights are taken on board in the expansion of CORPUS. Jannes: “We are not only making improvements internally, we are also looking to expand abroad.” CORPUS is going international and is building new locations in China, Orlando, Houston and Europe. “The human body works the same way, no matter where you are in the world. Our mission is to make everyone aware of how to take good care of themselves and others. Thanks to Dyflexis’ data, we are growing faster and smarter internationally.”