General Information:Capital: Amsterdam
Political system: The Netherlands is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a prime minister and a monarch. The Council of Ministers has executive power.
Population: 17.3 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Dutch
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 112
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
The Netherlands is one of the countries where the majority of the population learns English. It is a country known for its coffee and tulips. After Scandinavia, the Dutch are among the largest consumers of coffee. The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe, dominated by lowlands and windmills. It is the largest exporter of beer and at the same time it is known for its great support of transport by bicycles. The Dutch are proud of their homemade types of cheese, which are sold at local markets and exported all over the world. The most famous are the ones sold in the cities of Edam and Gouda. Historically, the Dutch are known to have been very good traders, which is still true today.
The Dutch belong to those cultures that appreciate direct and clear communication in private and professional life. The ability to formulate ideas clearly is a manifestation of logical thinking and higher education. Everyone has the right to express their opinions and it is incomprehensible if they do not take advantage of this right.
Due to its history, the Netherlands is one of the most tolerant countries in terms of cultural differences. Therefore, respecting and holding different opinions in high esteem is expected from everyone and the leader of the team is one of the members of the team rather than someone who would give strict orders and prohibitions. The Dutch are not sticklers for formalities and strict protocol. On the contrary, they like an informal and flexible approach. Business meetings are rarely held at lunch, which is only a short break in the Netherlands.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from the Netherlands:
- All team members are expected to respect the diversity of cultures, religions and values.
- Direct communication and clear formulation of ideas is a guide how to communicate with colleagues and solve problems.
- Loyalty to a company is appreciated and evaluated in a very positive way. The Dutch are proud of the companies for which they work.
- Private and professional lives are usually strictly separated and the Dutch do not build friendships at work. Decisions are the result of mutual discussion and consensus, so sometimes it takes a long time to make them.