Coming from the HR industry in the United Kingdom, I have had an interesting time settling in to Vietnamese culture, and the way of working in Vietnam. One thing that has struck me immediately is the importance placed on the family.
While in the UK generally you’re focused on the well being of your immediate relatives, in Vietnam, the family has a wider reach, with even distant relatives being included in the family unit.
This of course has a knock on effect on Vietnamese business, and in particular the culture of Human Resources. While in Europe, there is not as much importance put on the relationship side of businesses, and things are much more financially driven, here in Vietnam the relationship is paramount. People will work with you because you have a relationship with them, because you’ve taken time to talk to them, because you’re interested in hearing their point of view and most importantly, because they trust you, while, in the UK, you would work with, and for, people that you openly disliked and mistrusted, because they were valuable in some way (usually financially).
This helps business in Vietnam by making the whole process a lot warmer. You are dealing with people, not just because they will help you make money, but because you have a relationship with them. It may seem like common sense, and please don’t get me wrong, in the UK I often worked with people I liked and trusted, but here in Vietnam it seems a lot more common than in the UK. So while there may be many aspects of the country that are still in development, the Vietnamese family culture in business puts it way ahead of the UK in my opinion!