Employee of the month: an organization's positive effort to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of an employee. This is a widely known concept and career goal for millions of American employees around the country.
The next day I showed up to work like any normal day, but then something strange began to happen. Colleagues kept stopping by my office to shake my hand and congratulate me on employee of the month. Some even asked how they could become employee of the next month! One of my colleagues put up posters announcing my new status all over the building. The Dutch were certainly having more fun with this than I could have imagined. Some people even crossed out 'month' on the posters and replaced it with 'decade' or 'century'. Although culturally sensitive, this little stir in the work place resulted in a lot of laughter, enough to continue the tradition in the coming months.
So through all of this, I'm pleased to say that the Dutch have some humour at work after all and even remain open (and tolerant!) to foreign competitive and hierarchical concepts such as employee of the month.
Kellie Holler, International Relations and Recruitment Officer in the Marketing and Communications Department at Van Hall Larenstein.