Benefits of in-company Dutch courses for businesses and employees
In-company Dutch classes can be a great way to help international staff feel at home in Amsterdam. Find out how to make sure they’re a win for both employers and employees.
International employees don’t only have to deal with a new language – but also a new country and culture. In-company Dutch courses are an efficient, cost-effective way to help them feel at home.
Good for business
While it is certainly possible to get by in Amsterdam without speaking Dutch, even a basic grasp of the language will benefit internationals and their employers. Employees’ well-being in a new culture can be improved by understanding the language. Making the effort to communicate in Dutch – even if it’s just to say ‘Goedemorgen’ or ‘Wil jij iets drinken?’– will help build bridges with Dutch connections, both colleagues and clients, and improve professional relationships.
At Taalthuis, it’s best practice to offer engaging, interactive lessons that have an emphasis on speaking. This will build your international staff’s confidence to use their newly acquired Dutch skills on the work floor and beyond.
Team learning = team building
In-company classes are a great way to break down barriers and motivate people. They can be structured with role-playing around work-related topics and situations that encourage cooperation. Try scheduling regular ‘koffiepauzes’for international employees to practice with each other and with Dutch colleagues. Social events such as a weekly borrel with Dutch conversation are good for team spirit as well as helping the learning process. And once your international staff get a grip on the Dutch language, they’ll also develop an understanding of the direct style of communication many Dutch people prefer – something that can sometimes come across as rude when English is spoken.
Flexible and efficient
Class times should be flexible, so they can be arranged to fit in with work schedules. In-company learning means no employee time is wasted travelling to and from another location. Most standard courses are offered on the basis of one or two two-hourly sessions per week. But Taalthuis can also design an in-house course to suit your company’s staff availability as well as their learning needs.
Tailored to fit
In-company courses can be offered at any level, from beginners to fully fluent, so it’s easy to adapt them to meet your staff’s abilities and proficiency.
According to Taalthuis, it’s also really helpful to shape course content around the topics that are relevant to your staff’s activities. The law, real estate, IT, retail, engineering – whatever your sector, exercises, role plays and reading materials can be designed that stimulate learning while keeping students engaged and motivated.
Support staff well-being
Recruiting international talent is a time-consuming and expensive process, so when you’ve succeeded in attracting good people, of course you want to retain them. That’s why investing in employee well-being makes good business sense. If staff have relocated to join your company, helping them feel at home is key.
Learning Dutch will have a positive influence on people’s experience of living in the Netherlands. It opens doors and helps make a deeper connection with Dutch culture and society. Everyday life becomes simpler and speaking the local language smooths the way to making friendships (and business deals). Employees with children will also find it easier to help them integrate better at school – particularly if they go to a regular Dutch school – and make friends if everyone in the family is learning Dutch.
If the company language is English, it’s particularly important to motivate people to learn Dutch. This is where corporate learning can make a real difference, with tailored in-company courses making it easy, convenient and fun.