Introducing new employees to Dutch culture
“The tailor-made training ‘Living and working in the Netherlands’ taught us how we think in Dutch and how reactions could be interpreted. In the first months it provided much advantage, in that our foreign directors were able to better understand their teams and make better choices.”
Schindler Nederland is part of the Schindler Group (established in more than 120 countries) and has been successful in more than hundred years in the branch concerning diverse mobility products, such as personal and goods lifts plus escalators.
“We had attracted and recruited two new employees at executive level,” says Ruben Schreij, HR-business partner at Schindler Lifts. “Both directors are Turkish and joined the firm expatriating from their Turkish branch. To provide a strong foundation and on-boarding in Dutch corporate culture, we organised the training “Working and Living in the Netherlands.”
“To provide new colleagues a strong foundation and springboard to familiarise themselves with Dutch habits and way of working which obviously differs from that in Turkey. The aim was to bridge the gap between any cultural differences or any possible miscommunication from either side. The marital partners were also trained and it always given by foreign employees. The whole family comes to the Netherlands and we take into account that partners sometimes require more integration strategies that the future employee. It is essential that also partners feel comfortable and familiar with Dutch culture.”
Way of working
Firstly, we delivered a language training “Business Dutch” for the two employees through our sister organisation Language Partners where they learnt the basic forms of Dutch. “It is useful to speak the basics of the language as this increases successful communication.” In this manner we came into contact with the Akteos.” “The contact via Akteos was smooth and went well. After an intake interview, a training was with the employees was immediately planned. There was constant much contact between the employees and the trainer. From an HR perspective I had never though about that much and that was the nicest. That is the the nicest. Direct connection works well.” Both colleagues were enthusiastic and positive about the working methods of trainers Fanny Spruytte an Marjoleine Havik, the latter who said: “They are executives who in their position, are used to critically analysing certain matters. If there had been anything unclear we would have certainly heard it right away but fortunately, we did not need to clarify anything.” The collaboration was also described by trainer Spruytte as good: “They were warm people who opened themselves up to the training and their stay as an expat in the Netherlands, determined to make it a success.”
“The training definitely delivered results. They were accepted both as directors and in their leading roles, being able to create an immediate strong collaboration with their team. It is always a matter of time when new directors take up office but it worked perfectly.” “Both directors understand how we think and react in the Netherlands and that the Dutch polder model encourages the Dutch to always help by communicating and having their say. That process can now be better understood and appreciated, improving the possibility for making better choices. The training is also a good basis for a satisfactory and swift start-up or working in the Netherlands in the first crucial months. A good beginning lays a firm groundwork.” We can absolutely recommend Akteos for trainings in cultural awareness and dealing with cultural differences. ‘The collaboration was efficient, we saw clear results and our employees really enjoyed it.’
Akteos – tailored projects
Client: Schindler Lifts Netherlands, Den Haag
Branch: mobile products
Course format: 2 directors and their marital partners
Customised training: Working and Living in the Netherlands
Objective: introducing expats to the Dutch way of working to prevent any interculturele misunderstandings on the work floor.
Result: strong collaboration and communication with Dutch team and improved management choices.