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The annual HR Excellence Awards ceremony recognizes companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that have produced exceptional outcomes within a range of HR topics. A total of 42 awards are broken down into 12 categories. The categories range from Strategy to Recruiting; Culture & Values to Personnel Development, and everything in between. The awards recognise companies both large and small, with different awards for SMEs and Corporates as defined by companies smaller or larger than 500 employees.

This year, PlusDental was one of the winners announced at the annual gala dinner hosted in the heart of Berlin in the impressive TIPI at the Chancellery in Tiergarten. As one of Germany’s most exciting startups – and a Leapsome customer! – PlusDental won the award in the SME Employee Development category with their application, “How we aligned the development of our employees to our corporate values.

PlusDental have been going through an exciting growth phase. In addition to serving more than 10,000 patients, they have doubled their team size from 85 at the start of 2019 to more than 190 employees. At the beginning of the year, they didn’t have any feedback processes in place meaning that employees weren’t receiving the feedback they needed for development. The lack of structure also made performance appraisals nearly impossible, creating unclear development paths and promotion opportunities for employees.

In a project led by PlusDental’s Director of People and Culture Jan Holste, the organisation set out to create a robust setup for value-oriented performance management and feedback that would drive employee development; increase employee engagement; and improve people management processes.

To begin with, PlusDental set about defining their values using both bottom-up and top-down approaches, combining quantitative and qualitative internal research. Using these findings they whittled it down to eight corporate values:

  1. We put our patients first
  2. We challenge the status quo
  3. We lead by example
  4. We act with integrity
  5. We communicate mindfully 
  6. We focus on results
  7. We are better together
  8. We act responsibly

They then assigned criteria to each value to be used when evaluating employees, both in the hiring process and in the performance review process.

Using Leapsome’s platform for performance management, PlusDental then launched a 360-degree review cycle for all employees. For the first time, employees were able to get direct feedback on their performance against PlusDental’s overall values.

PlusDental have a significant share of their employees working on the production of their dental aligners. The goal was to have every one of them included in the 360-degree review process as well as the engagement surveys. To achieve this, computer terminals have been set up in the production area so that everyone could access Leapsome. PlusDental also named dedicated feedback champions in each team to support everyone through completing the feedback process and the employee engagement survey.

Managers and employees were sceptical in the beginning that this whole process would be too time-consuming. However, the process was well-received and will now be used regularly to give employees the feedback they require for their professional development.

The codified core values are now used in all performance management and employee engagement processes enabled by Leapsome, providing the foundation for a holistic employee experience throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Surfacing data from the employee engagement survey helps Plus Dental to now maintain and grow their culture as they continue to scale the size of the business. Finally, the defined values are used as a nudge for employees to give each other instant feedback & praise.


An example (not real data) of the analytics available from the results of an Employee Engagement Survey


As a result, PlusDental have access to a wealth of people analytics data that they can use to fully support their employees and managers at all stages.  It is a win-win situation as it allows employees to continuously grow and the company to maintain its culture and success while undergoing tremendous growth. 

PlusDental’s MD & Co-Founder David Khalil says, “This is the most meaningful and helpful data I've ever received from HR.”

These efforts resulted in PlusDental leaving the awards gala with an award trophy in hand. Congratulations to Jan and the whole PlusDental team!

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Learn more about how PlusDental implemented Leapsome to support their performance management and employee engagement processes in their Leapsome customer case study.

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