Business Culture in the Netherlands

>> Top Tips on the Netherlands

Top Tips on the Netherlands

Tip 1
The Dutch appreciate plain speaking above all else. Subtlety, diplomacy and coded speech can all lead to problems.

Tip 2
Everybody has a point to make and deserves to be heard.

Tip 3
The manager is not necessarily the boss, but the first amongst equals.

Tip 4
Despite their reputation for liberalism, the Netherlands is a conservative society and change is only accepted and embraced after much deliberation and discussion.

Tip 5
The Dutch have a long tradition of internationalism and are possibly more aware of the impact of cultural differences than people from many other cultures. Their language skills are world-renowned.

Tip 6
Decisions are reached through a lengthy process of debate and consensus building buy-in. It is difficult and dangerous to try to circumvent this system.

Tip 7
Historical events (floods, invasions etc.) have made the Dutch cautious and deeply thoughtful in their approach to issues. (If you do things in haste your feet will get wet.)

Tip 8
It is important to be seen as unpretentious in your dealings with other people. Eccentric behaviour is seen as suspect. (To act normal is crazy enough!)

Tip 9
Humour is used and appreciated but not in very tense business situations where it could be seen as frivolous.

Tip 10
There is a relatively strong separation made between work and private. Colleagues tend not to socialise very much immediately after work.

Tip 11
The Dutch as a nation are highly educated and place great value on education. A large percentage of the country’s GDP is spent on the state education system.

Tip 12
Employees tend to stay with one employer for long periods of time, which promotes a company loyalty and an interest in long-term goals.

Tip 13
Dutch labour laws are quite stringent making it difficult to dismiss people. This makes downsizing a difficult and costly exercise.

Tip 14
Conducting business affairs over lunch is unusual in the Netherlands – lunch is usually a quick snack.

Tip 15
The Dutch tend towards informality in business dealings with first names usually used – especially in international situations.


Latest version updated 23rd March 2017

Country Breakdown

17.02

Million

Population

Euro

Currency

$ 770.8

Billion

GDP

41,543

km2