Doing business in the Netherlands
Dutch are generally pragmatic. They speak directly and bluntly say what they think and mean what they say. Everyone is at eye level with each other.
Accordingly, Dutch companies are informally managed. The hierarchies are flat, the boss and the staff are on first-name terms. The boss’s office door is always open for everyone.
Primus inter pares
Different ranks are mostly incidental in a collaboration. The Executive is responsible for the successful team building and sees himself as primus inter pares, a member of the team just like anybody else. Status, title and formalities are considered unnecessary. Referring to one’s rank in a Dutch company risk a direct backlash from employees and achieve anything but a demonstration of their decision-making power. What counts here is the daily personal performance as well as a congenial demeanor, but never the assigned position, tenure or age.
Easy-going, but high performance ethos
Dutch managers are cooperative and often see their main task as motivating and supporting their team. Nevertheless, their leadership style is strongly task-, result- and goal-oriented due to a Protestant work ethic. A high-performance-ethos is deeply rooted in Dutch society. Discipline and efficiency form the basis of economic thinking.
Consensus among all
From the discussion among all to the consensus among all is critical to success. Facts or problems are rigorously analysed until a solution is found in consensus with all. This also means that you will often find many more employees being involved than you would anticipate, e.g.the secretary will contribute an equal opinion.
Instructions however, without explaining the purpose behind the task, can easily miss the target. Everyone must be kept in the loop and feeling included into the big picture.
The advantage is that everyone is actively thinking and management mistakes are often revealed at a lower level, because Dutch employees do not blindly follow. Be aware though, if Dutch employees are not convinced of a task, it may well be that they simply don’t do it. It is therefore essential for a leader to persuade and win employees over. Then, the commitment, is fantastic. Any initial loss of time is regained.
Our intercultural business videos focus on what really matters when entering a specific international business situation. Within minutes you can easily prepare for diverse international business situations.
First business meeting in the Netherlands
Communication in the Netherlands
Meetings in the Netherlands
Business meals and after work in the Netherlands
Visitors from the Netherlands
- Initiating Business
- International Sales
- Negotiation Skills
- Virtual Collaboration
- Global Leadership
- Communication Skills
- Multicultural Team-building
- Conflict Resolution
- Presentation Skills
- Project Management
- Country Preparation
- Expat and Spouse Support
Do you have a specific question in mind? Get matched with your personal coach and talk to them right here on the platform! Our coaches are highly qualified experts in their field who offer many years of work experience in different business sectors, roles, and countries.
From managing international teams to sealing a deal with business partners to going abroad as an expatriate – whatever situation you need to deal with, your personal coach will be there to guide you through it!
- Professional, individual, confidential advice
- 24/7 flexible booking
- Connect from any device
- Secure environment, talk directly on the platform
Price: from $69 per 30 min
Country Course Netherlands
Our Country Course Netherlands will teach you all essential intercultural aspects for a successful collaboration with your Dutch business partners, colleagues and clients:
- Initial business contact
- Communication and impact
- Meetings and presentations
- Negotiations, decisions and contracts
- Coordination and cooperation
- Business meals and after work
- Etiquette and dress code
This course includes:
- 90 min efficient and comprehensive eLearning
- Engaging media components for interactive learning