You could try extracting xwork.xml out of confluence-x.x.jar and putting an edited version in /WEB-INF/classes/xwork.xml so that it will then supersede the one in the JAR file.
find this entry:
<action name="dashboard" class="com.atlassian.confluence.dashboard.actions.DashboardAction">
change the success result to where you would like it go to, such as:
<result name="success" type="velocity">/users/peopledirectory-results.vm</result>
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