Global Work Talk is an initiative of:

Dr. Jeannette Paul, MSc.
+31 6 55175627 

Global Work Talk
Postbus 626
1200 AP Hilversum

Dutch Chamber of Commerce 32118663

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Blog Jeannette Paul

Peppernuts at head office HEMA

Who sets the language in the workplace? At HEMA that is chairman Tjeerd Jegen. Since taking office last year, the official language at the HEMA head office is English. This is because "HEMA is an international company now" and "two new team members are British and they should be able to follow everything". The other staff members now follow English classes.* Do you follow in 2017?

What is the role of language in the workplace?

  • Language is functional - we need a common language to work well together.
  • Language is the soft note in the conversation - humour, nuances and emotions demand good language skills; it is difficult to match your mother tongue in this respect.
  • Language is power - if your language is used, you have an advantage. Read the blog Your language or mine?
  • Language is making a connection with your new community. The report “Make it in The Netherlands!” shows that the success of international talent in The Netherlands is only sustainable when they master the Dutch language; even when English is the official language at work.

By the way, I am curious about the HEMA translation of the Dutch “pepernoten”, “rookworst” en “tompouce”. For now the official language in the Dutch HEMA stores is Dutch. Even though the Netherlands is increasingly multilingual. 

* From: "Het is erop of eronder voor Hema, Teri van der Heijden en Barbara Rijlaarsdam, NRC, 12 november 2016"

Global-Work-Talk is an initiative of Jeannette Paul