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Top 5 tips on working with the Dutch

Work in Holland 8 February 2013, 11:33

Are you searching for a job in the Netherlands or have just found one? Here are several tips you need to know when working with the Dutch.

Dutch employees
Dutch Employees

Are you searching for a job in the Netherlands or have just found one? Here are top 5 tips you need to know when working with the Dutch.

1) Don’t be ‘bossy’ to subordinates. A manager in the Netherlands is expected to consult and discuss things with people in his or her team rather than ordering them what to do. Every employee’s contribution is considered important and, therefore, everyone can speak up. The managers in the Dutch companies are usually open and approachable. Do take an initiative and don’t be afraid to ask questions

2) You are supposed to give the best insights from your particular angle and not protect your ideas just to climb higher than the others. Even though Dutch employees like to work independently they tend to work together quite closely for the benefit of the company. Everybody in the team has seemingly similar status, and trying to portray yourself as someone special will result in conflicts with other members of the team.

3) Be prepared to the directness and constructive criticism. Dutch people are very straightforward and they easily voice their opinions. Such direct way of communications can be something you will have to get used to. If you ask an opinion of your colleague, be prepared for criticism and learn how to deal with it calmly. At the same time, Dutch people appreciate you being outspoken as well, so if you see that something can be done in a more efficient way, feel free to voice your ideas.

4) Come to a meeting right on time. The Dutch are quite strict with time, so if you are likely to be delayed for more than 5 minutes, you should always call. Time schedules are strictly adhered to and all your colleagues most likely have a diary or organiser full of scheduled meeting and appointments. If you need an appointment, it is a good idea to schedule it well in advance.

5) Take part in various company rituals. For example, birthday ’coffee and cake’, the ‘borrel’, Christmas celebration etc. Networking and socialising are very welcome!

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