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Planet DDS Invests in its People Through Learning & Development

By Planet DDS
December 13, 2023
Planet DDS Learning and Development programs

As 2023 comes to close, we at Planet DDS wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on this year’s successful launch of a number of exciting new Learning & Development programs and training initiatives. As an employee-first company uniquely dedicated to the personal and professional development of our team members, we are always looking for new ways to uplift and invest in the people who make Planet DDS such a special place to work, and we couldn’t be happier with the results of our efforts and the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received from satisfied employees throughout the organization. 

On that note, let’s go ahead and take a closer look at what we were able to accomplish in 2023, as well as what’s to come for the evolving L&D program at Planet DDS as we get ready to head into the new year.  

Learning and Development at Planet DDS: Year in Review  

In 2023, under the direction of Robert Ercoli, Learning and Development Trainer, Planet DDS rolled out of a variety of interactive educational initiatives, including extensive New Hire Training Sessions, courses on effective people leadership, and company-wide “courselets” on industry-relevant topics taught by Robert himself. Additionally, this year’s broader L&D efforts yielded more than 675 hours of overall live training, including in-depth product presentations spanning all departments throughout the company.  

Speaking to the full spectrum of our offerings for the year, Allen Belsky, Customer Success Manager for Apteryx, found value in the far-reaching and comprehensive nature of the L&D programs at Planet DDS.  

“I’ve worked with multiple tech unicorns, multi-billion-dollar Fortune 500 companies, and several other organizations with mature Learning & Development programs, and Planet DDS’s training program is as good, if not better, than them all,” he said. “We saw presentations from each and every department and product—which is extremely rare in the tech space—gaining important context and knowledge along the way.”  

Advancing New Hires & Elevating People Leaders  

At Planet DDS, we care deeply about providing continual learning opportunities and rewarding experiences that benefit our people in both the short and long term, and this year’s investment in both new hire training and the elevation of people leadership is a reflection of that commitment.  

More specifically, over the course of 2023, Planet DDS was successful in our advancement of more than 120 new hires through 18 cohorts of targeted training. Additionally, we advanced more than 40 people leaders through 9 cohorts participating in our People Leaders 101 course, as well as 18 participants advancing into the People Leaders 202 course, which welcomed an executive guest speaker who delivered an engaging presentation on the importance of building trust and accountability within teams.  

“I’ve learned a lot about our products and industry through dedicated training, which has fueled my confidence and personal growth,” said Tiffany Maki, Manager of Customer Support at PDDS. “I appreciate how our company invests in our employees by providing consistent learning opportunities, and I’ve enjoyed Robert’s energetic training sessions.”  

Much to our excitement and gratitude, both the New Hire Training and People Leaders 101 programs currently carry participant satisfaction scores of over 9 out of 10, based on over 130 responses to internal surveys.  

Company-Wide Courselets Demonstrate Mutual Dedication to Continuous Improvement and Education 

Another undeniable greatest hit of our 2023 L&D program was the introduction of company-wide “courselets,” or 75-minute interactive webinars hosted by subject matter experts on a wide range of engaging and industry-relevant topics. With an average of 160 participants per session, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from employees and leaders throughout the organization.  

“The L&D courselets have shown me how much Planet DDS truly values and invests in its people,” said Senior Product Manager, Jeremy Serfling. “The company has created a culture of learning and development that encourages continuous improvement, innovation, and collaboration. It’s a program unlike any other I have experienced at other companies in terms of breadth and depth.”  

Looking Towards the Future

While Planet DDS takes great pride in what we have accomplished this year, we also want to emphasize that this is only the very beginning of our journey, and we’re beyond excited to further develop and expand our unique L&D program in 2024. 

For example, in the new year we aim to introduce a variety of new product certification programs, empowering all employees to become true subject matter experts on all Planet DDS products, and particularly gaining the ability to understand their unique value from the customer’s perspective. Moreover, we are dedicated to utilizing increasingly asynchronous learning experiences, and to ensuring these programs and resources are available for our team members to access in any place and at any time. 

Additionally, we will be taking a much deeper approach to situational-based leadership training in 2024 through the introduction of People Leaders Roundtable sessions, as well as further developing the People Leaders 2024 curriculum to provide an even more in-depth understanding of modern leadership principles and best practices.  

Finally, next year will mark the launch of the Planet DDS Rise Program, which will bring employees and leaders together once per quarter and feature motivational presentations on both leadership and technology, as well as offer recurring opportunities for company-wide networking and bonding between team members.  

As perhaps said best by the Vice President of People, Jen Bigelow, “Learning & Development is the heartbeat of our company’s success, and our dynamic and diverse programs are the cornerstone of continuous improvement, fostering a culture of adaptability, resilience, and success in the ever-evolving journey of personal and professional development.”