Seizing this opportunity, Meetingselect holds diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of its vision and strategy. Doubling the number of team members last year to 114 talents strong, we currently hold 19 cultures from all continents. In the workplace, this leads to numerous lessons, challenges, and benefits of which some of our colleagues would love to share their experiences with you.
There are several key cultural differences that employees of Meetingselect encountered within the company. Cristina from Spain noted the difference in tighter work schedules and timetables. Our Tunesian colleague, Mehdi, also mentioned the Dutch’s commitment to punctuality and strict adherence to time. This tendency prioritizes productivity over nutrition resulting in short lunch breaks with convenient sandwiches rather than a warm, comforting meal. According to Floor from the Netherlands, there’s a significant contrast between those who prioritize efficiency and action and those who prioritize thoughtful consideration of impact. The results of combining these varying mindsets are apparent in our collaborative projects. Complemented by little to no hierarchy within the company, as Lieselot from Belgium and Ileana working in the United States mentioned, we observe greater connectivity across all departments and a willingness to help one another. Encouraging unity amongst the different teams creates a much stronger collective effort and support system.
The international employees of Meetingselect have integrated the Dutch company culture in various ways. Vivian, one of our colleagues from Brazil, mentioned organizing her day in accordance with the differences of our time zones while Andrew, who works in Singapore, highlighted his increased openness to adaptations. In Germany, our colleague Pia started sharing more personal details when introducing herself to colleagues or customers and Mehdi, from Tunisia, mentioned becoming more direct and vocal about his thoughts and disagreements, reflecting the Dutch emphasis on open and straightforward communication. Ileana appreciates having easy access to everyone at every level of the company, even the founders, which is much easier in comparison to the chain of command in American corporate culture.
The other way round is of equal importance. To honor and adapt to the diverse backgrounds of its employees, Andrew mentioned that Meetingselect could celebrate different cultural events and traditions, as he’s from Singapore, he’d like to see more Asian influences. Furthermore, the company could encourage its employees to take time to relax and enjoy meals together according to Lieselot, as this is a common cultural practice in Belgium and many other countries. Lam from Vietnam suggested that the company promote face-to-face conversations to address any misunderstandings and settle issues in a tactful manner as effective communication is key in accommodating different cultures. Still, our Lebanese employee Sara would still like to highlight the benefits of emotional expression and the consideration of people’s emotions in conversation. Valencia, our colleague in residing in India, says companies could strive to schedule meetings that are convenient for all participants and their time zones, avoiding late hours that may make it difficult for some employees to fully attend and focus. On the other hand, Rishabh from India, doesn’t believe in a company adopting his or anyone else’s culture. He’d much rather see Meetingselect respect and embrace the differences, as he says we already do.
From a sales perspective, employees like Lieselot and Laura, who are both from Belgium, learn daily from their international colleagues about how they see, feel, and experience the world. This knowledge helps to strengthen our globally expanding position and build trust when working with international companies and their distinct cultures. Lam from Vietnam believes that the company has become diverse, versatile, and adaptable to each culture and region it operates in. Valencia also highlights the importance of multiple languages in communication, which is a great advantage for Meetingselect as a service-oriented organization. Vivian from Brazil shared she was very emotional during Meetingselect’s Annual Internal Summit in June. She recalls how little by little each one demonstrated their traditional dances and had shown pride in their origin. The sight of her colleagues dancing to music from various nationalities made her feel grateful to be working for a company that values cultural diversity this much.