Polish business culture guide - Learn about Poland
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Polish business culture guide - Learn about Poland

on

  • 1,198 views

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Poland. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at ...

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Poland. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,198
Slideshare-icon Views on SlideShare
1,198
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
17
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Polish business culture guide - Learn about Poland Polish business culture guide - Learn about Poland Document Transcript

    •            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture In Poland   http://businessculture.org/easterneurope/poland/ Content Template Last updated: 27.09.2013 businessculture.org   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This Content  POL   publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
    •            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Poland   ........................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Poland ..............................................................................5   International business in Poland ..............................................................................................6   General educations ........................................................................................................................6   Educational standard ....................................................................................................................6   Other issues ......................................................................................................................................6   Cultural taboos ................................................................................................................................7   Business Communications in Poland .......................................................................................8   Face-to-face communication .................................................................................................................8   Language matters ..................................................................................................................................8   Business relationship .............................................................................................................................9   Making contact ......................................................................................................................................9   Personal titles ........................................................................................................................................9   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  11   Corporate social responsibility ................................................................................................12   Punctuality.......................................................................................................................................12   Gift giving ........................................................................................................................................13   Business dress code ....................................................................................................................13   Bribery and corruption ...............................................................................................................13   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  14   Importance of business meetings ..........................................................................................14   Business meeting planning .......................................................................................................15   Negotiation process .....................................................................................................................15   Meeting protocol ...........................................................................................................................16   How to run a business meeting ..............................................................................................17   Follow up letter after meeting with client ...........................................................................17   businessculture.org   Content  Poland  
    •            |  3     Business meals ..............................................................................................................................17   Business meeting tips .................................................................................................................19   Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  20   Work experience .................................................................................................................................20   Internship and placement advice ...........................................................................................20   Social security and European health insurance card ......................................................20   Safety ................................................................................................................................................21   Do I need a visa?..........................................................................................................................21   Internship and placement salary............................................................................................21   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................22   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  23   Money and banking .....................................................................................................................23   Travelling costs .............................................................................................................................23   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  24   National holidays ..........................................................................................................................24   Working hours ...............................................................................................................................25   Work culture ...................................................................................................................................26   Health insurance ...........................................................................................................................26   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  27   SMEs ..................................................................................................................................................27   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business .........................................................28   businessculture.org   Content  Poland  
    •            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Poland   The following is a very short introduction to Poland. External links at the end of this page provide you with more in depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WD_D08OFqM) Poland lies at the centre of the European continent, where eastern and western Europe meet. Poland has a border with Germany to the west, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; and with Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia to the east and north-east. The total length of Poland’s land and sea borders is 3,496km, and total surface area is 312,685sq km (304,255sq km of land and 8,430sq km of waters). This makes Poland the ninth largest country in Europe and the 70th largest in the world. Poland has a moderate climate characterised by relatively cold winters and warm summers with substantial agricultural and mineral resources. The population of Poland is 38,415,284 (July 2012 Est.) and its capital and largest city is Warsaw with a population of 1.7 million. Warsaw is also the economic and political centre of the country. Poland has a number of cities with large populations, of which the most notable businessculture.org   Content  Poland  
    •              |  5   are Lódź (782,000), Kraków (758,000), Wrocław (639,000), Poznań (576,000), Gdańsk (462,000), and Szczecin (415,000). Poland has a birth rate of 9.96 per 1,000 inhabitants and a slightly higher death rate of 10.24 per 1,000 inhabitants (July 2012). According to official Polish government website, the age of the population is distributed as follows: 14.6% are 14 years old or younger, 71.3% are between the ages of 15 to 64 and 14% are 65 years or older. The main ethnic groups are Polish at 96.7%, followed by German at 0.4%, Belarusian at 0.1%, Ukrainian at 0.1% and the remaining population at 2.7%. The official language of Poland is Polish and its official currency is the Zloty (PLN), which translates as ‘gold’ and the current exchange rate is approximately 4 Zloty to the Euro. Poland is in the Central European Time Zone and adheres to CET (UTC +1) during the winter and CEST (UTC +2) during the summer. Poland was one of the first ex-communist countries to adopt privatization and economic liberalization. It has been successful because the government was able to privatize most of the small and medium state-owned companies and encourage foreign direct investment. Poland’s main export partners are Germany, the UK, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. Poland’s main exports are machinery and transportation equipment, intermediate manufactured goods, miscellaneous manufactured goods, foodstuffs, and live animals. The largest sector of the Polish economy is the services sector, which generates 63% of GDP, followed by manufacturing at 33.3% and agriculture at 3.6%. Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Poland   Foreign visitors will be received warmly; Poles make every effort to be good hosts, Polish people are very open and friendly and take a great deal of pride in providing hospitality to their visitors. They have a saying: “A guest at home is God at home”. Poles are very interested in other cultures, so they are tolerant and eager to learn about other peoples’ ways of life. At the same time, they are also very proud of their own nationality and want to share their culture with people from all over the world. During business meetings, Poles maintain a very direct and focused professionalism, whereby joking and levity is set aside for a more appropriate time. Outside of a formal business environment, Poles don’t see anything wrong with making racial or sexist jokes, especially the older generation. Basic political correctness has not touched the older generation yet; to them, comedy has nothing to do with being sexist or racist. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  6   International  business  in  Poland   When you visit another country on business, you expect some differences in how business is conducted. However, you do not always have sufficient time to learn these differences through personal experience. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a meeting only a few hours after your arrival, where your lack of local knowledge leads you to make basic cultural mistakes, which can have serious repercussions on your efforts. This section is intended to equip you with the basic ‘ground rules’ for doing business in Poland to ensure that you are sufficiently able to deal with most of the business situations that you may encounter. General  educations   Most Poles are ready to invest their own money in their children’s education because they believe that the more educated you are, the better your chances of getting a good job. That is why they are ready to pay for private education that offers more specialised, less traditional courses in order to equip their graduates with skills dictated by the labour market. The Warsaw School of Economics and University of Warsaw – School of Management are good examples of progressive institution. Polish universities participate in educational and research programs such as Erasmus and Leonardo, which enables the exchange of students between European universities. Participation in these programmes provides a special opportunity for young people to acquire education and practical experience in other European Union countries, as well as skills essential to be able to succeed in the changing European labour market. Polish managers are well educated, a lot of them have postgraduate degrees and many of the younger managers have postgraduate degrees from western countries. Most managers are computer literate and even some older managers have put in the effort to learn some IT skills. Educational  standard   Primary and secondary education in Poland is compulsory for every citizen of the country and it is free of charge. There are now many public and private universities in the country and if you are not able to get into the public university and if you can afford to pay for private education then you go private. Public education is free. Other  issues   businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  7   The mobility of labour in Poland is low, as Polish families don’t like to move from one place to another willingly. The older generation are psychologically attached to their towns, country and relatives. Young people have a more open attitude and are willing to take the risk of starting a new job and a new life in a new place. This is exemplified by the high numbers of Poles travelling to other EU countries to look for work. Cultural  taboos   Avoid controversial issues such as religion, abortion (which is illegal in Poland), homosexuality and drugs. If you are bringing flowers, make sure it is an odd number to represent good luck and not an even number, which represents death. Do not shake hands in a doorway, as it is considered to bring bad luck. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  8   Business  Communications  in  Poland   Communication is perhaps the most important aspect of doing business, yet we tend to take it for granted when doing business in our own country because we are dealing with people from our own culture. The following section is divided into three areas: communication, working practice, and eating out. It explains the differences between face-to-face communication, and dealing with people via the telephone or by letter/fax etc. How important is it to address people by their correct title? How should you introduce yourself? Should you always give your business cards immediately after introduction? How important is it to get things agreed in writing? We think that this covers most business situations. By reading this section, you should be sufficiently well equipped with the basic ‘ground rules’ for doing business in Poland. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication   Polish business people are generally formal and moderately quiet. So, their communication behaviour is likely to be more reserved at the first meeting. Important business issues must be discussed in person and frequent visits and phone calls are essential to establish the business relationship and basis for a written agreement. Poles maintain direct eye contact and require about an arm’s length of personal space for comfort. They usually say what they think and get straight to the point. They don’t really make jokes during the first meeting; jokes are left for more social occasions. Poles do not generally speak in a loud voice but they are, nevertheless, self-confident and decisive. Language  matters   Poles are well educated highly skilled and technically very competent. They have a tendency to follow rules and adhere to expected protocols. Polish is the official language, but most Poles speak more than one language because of its proximity to many other countries. Russian, German and English are the most prominent foreign languages spoken with business often conducted in English where participants’ first language is not Polish. Most Poles speak English and even though they might not speak it fluently, they are able to communicate. Many employers feel that the more languages an applicant speaks, the better; so, it is essential to have knowledge of at least one foreign language when applying for a job. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  9     As an ice-breaker, to create a good impression on your host, it is worthwhile learning at least a few words and phrases in Polish. Business  relationship   Most Polish SMEs welcome every opportunity to do business with foreign partners. For the majority of businesses, a written agreement has priority over a verbal agreement and, therefore, written agreements are always recommended. Making  contact       Foreign companies interested in investing in Poland can obtain relevant information from local Business associations. When approaching a Polish company for the first time, it is advisable to use written communications to prevent misunderstandings and avoid difficulties that can be present in other modes of communication. On receipt of a reply, it will be possible to gauge whether there is a manager that speaks English and what may be the best means of requesting a faceto-face meeting. International fairs are also very useful in order to find and establish initial contacts. Personal  titles   There is still a strong tendency to use individual titles in Polish society. Until invited to do otherwise, men should be addressed as Pan (Mr) and women as “Pani” (Mrs). Panna (Miss) is seldom used; unless speaking to a child, all women should be referred to as Pani. It is important to know that in some cases the ending of a surname will change depending on gender. Married women take their husband’s last names, but when the last letter is a vowel, change ‘y’ or ‘i’ to an ‘a’ For example, Pan Bruszynski’s wife is referred to as Pani Bruszynska. When addressing a manager or high-level executive, you should not drop the Mr or Mrs in favour of using their job title as this is considered impolite. For example Pan Director is an appropriate way to address the Director of the company. Never address someone by their surname only, as this is not appropriate and would be considered extremely impolite and disrespectful. The use of academic titles like Magister (master’s degree), Dr. (Phd), or Professor is not common in the workplace, except in academia or the healthcare industry. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  10   A sign that a business relationship has developed to a much more personal level is if you are invited to take part in “Bruderschaft”. This translates as something like a ‘brotherly toast’, where two people simultaneously raise a toast and interlock arms to down their drinks. This is followed by an exchange of kisses and invitation to use first names. Younger business professionals may be keener to progress a relationship more quickly and adopt a less formal style. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  11     Business  Etiquette     Business etiquette focuses on the behaviour deemed appropriate in a professional setting and you’ll be more likely to make an excellent impression on people you encounter, if you maintain a professional approach. Attitudes and values are the foundations that drive behaviour and that gives us clues to people‘s thought patterns and what they consider important. Basic tips to follow when doing business in Poland: Greetings should include a firm handshake and direct eye contact; if there are a number of people, they should all be greeted individually, rather than a general wave or nod of acknowledgement. Men should wait for a woman to extend her hand and Polish men will sometimes kiss a women on the hand, as a sign of respect. Gifts are usually opened immediately and should not be overly expensive. If you are giving flowers, make sure that they are given in odd numbers and avoid flowers that have cultural significance, especially yellow chrysanthemums, which are used at funerals, and red or white flowers such as carnations and lilies. If you wish to meet with someone, you will have to make an appointment in advance. Letters should be addressed to the company rather than to a specific person. This prevents a letter from being held up if the person it is addressed to is away from the office. Punctuality is expected and taken extremely seriously. Initial meetings are scheduled as introductions to see whether you are trustworthy; and a first meeting may be with a middle manager, rather than the actual decision maker. Poles are known for being straight-talkers, but they still try to be diplomatic about their opinions, so as not to offend their business partners. Expect some small talk and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is discussed. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  12   Business is conducted slowly. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled by the strict adherence to protocol. Companies tend to have a hierarchical structure, with decision-making power held at the top of the company. Presentations should be clear, accurate and detailed and you should have charts and figures to back up your claims, where necessary. Always maintain direct eye contact while speaking. Corporate  social  responsibility   Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a partnership between companies, stakeholders and the government to integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations on a voluntary basis. After joining the EU, Poland started implementing new policies promoting environmental protection and energy efficiency. The Polish government had to close down many inefficient, polluting factories because of their effects on the atmosphere. Environmental protection is financed mainly from fees paid by companies that have violated environmental regulations. Even though there is greater awareness of environmental issues and the need to keep the environment clean, the precarious financial situation that many SMEs find themselves in means that they are unable to invest in new technology and cleaner processes. The fines for high emissions of contaminated particles into the atmosphere are relatively low in Poland. It is therefore cheaper for smaller companies to pay the fines rather than spend money on machines to reduce their environmental impact. Punctuality In general, Poles are considered to be quite punctual. However, people in higher positions might arrive late to a meeting, in order to demonstrate their status and importance within the company hierarchy. It is advisable to arrive on time to a business meeting, although you might be forgiven for being up to 15 minutes late. In social circumstances, the rules are more relaxed and if you are invited to a party, it is expected that you will arrive about 15 minutes late. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  13   Gift  giving   In Poland, it is expected that gifts will be given at the initial business meeting and upon the conclusion of any business arrangement, such as when a contract is signed. Small presents, like a corporate gift (without company logo or branding) or a souvenir representing the country you are visiting from, would be acceptable. Other appropriate gift choices might include high quality chocolates, cigars, flowers, perfume, wine or liquor from your home country that are either not available in Poland or difficult to obtain. If invited to a business partner’s home, it is normal to bring flowers, sweets or a bottle of wine. Business  dress  code   For business meetings, most managers wear formal clothing, meaning that men wear dark coloured suits with a jacket and tie, and women wear suits with either trousers or a skirt. During normal office hours, the dress code might be slightly less formal, but you should still maintain a smart appearance. First impressions are always very important in the business community. Large organisations set a dress code policy for their employees, in order to show respect for their business partners, customers and the general public. However, some companies have instituted casual Fridays, when employees can chose to wear more comfortable attire. Small and medium sized companies often do not have a formal policy in place, but will expect you to dress according to your position and the environment in which you are working. Bribery  and  corruption   The Corruption Perceptions Index (2012) charts levels of corruption in 176 countries throughout the world and places Poland at 41st on the list with a score of 58. In Poland, people perceive that big business is often behind the motivations of public officials, including politicians, ministers, regional heads and even judges. Bribery is commonplace on the smaller scale, where a few thousand zloty will change hands to cut red tape in government offices and smooth over procedures for licensing and contract procurement. It is almost impossible to do business in Poland without being part of the “open more doors” culture. However, with this modus operandi, you could just as easily be accused of committing a crime. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  14     Business  Meeting  Etiquette     When attending a business meeting in a foreign country, it is advisable to ask yourself a few questions that will be helpful in preparing for the meeting and remind you of cultural differences that you should be sensitive to: • What are the local attitudes to business? • How should you go about organising a meeting? • How do you greet people? • How should you run a meeting? • What do you need to think about when conducting negotiations? • What should you do after a meeting? Importance  of  business  meetings   The Polish management style is very hierarchical, so it is best to make sure you are meeting with the appropriate decision maker and not a subordinate who then reports to the general manager. This will speed up the decision making process. Visiting female executives can expect to be treated differently by older male counterparts who hold with more traditional forms of behaviour, such as kissing a woman on the hand when introduced. However, business women may feel that they are being patronized. Few women have reached positions of authority in business; so many men are not used to interacting with women on a basis of equality. During a business meeting, Poles may not hide their emotions, especially if they are irritated, frustrated or angry. Foreign visitors should be aware that it is a normal to demonstrate such openness and should not be startled or offended by it. Indeed, a condescending attitude, an “only I know what’s best” mentality, and stubbornness will be poorly received and most likely isolate one from essential business contacts. You should avoid jokes at a first meeting and focus your presentation on background information, facts and technical details. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  15   The initial visit tends to be fairly short, because Polish businesses want to know what the purpose of the visit is and what type of relationship their counterparts are hoping to develop before deciding to proceed. They may even ask for pricing information up front. In all likelihood, they will let you (the visitors) know that they do not have the finances to buy your products or services, but will be prepared to discuss alternatives, such as setting up a joint venture or acting as agents on your behalf. All written documents, even thank you notes, should be translated into Polish. Business  meeting  planning   It is very important to call the Polish business that you are visiting upon arrival in the country, to confirm your meeting. Generally, you will want to remind them a day before your scheduled appointment. The most productive times for business meetings are in the mornings between 10am and 12pm, and the afternoons between 2pm and 4pm. The best months for doing business in Poland are September through to May. Avoid June, July, and August, where possible, so that you do not run into conflicts with your contacts summer holidays. If a meeting takes place in the morning, you will usually be served coffee or tea and biscuits. If a meeting is after lunch, do not be surprised if you are offered an alcoholic drink like brandy. You should accept a drink if offered, so as not to offend your host, but you can leave the drink unfinished and just take a small sip. If any language difficulties are anticipated, you should arrange for an interpreter to be present at the meeting. Negotiation  process   Communication in Polish society is ‘low context’, meaning that they usually speak frankly and can be very direct when it comes to saying ‘no’. Polish business people often exhibit features of both the relationship-focused and dealfocused approaches to business, which is a fairly unusual combination of cultural traits. While it is important to build strong relationships, Polish negotiators tend to be verbally direct at the bargaining table. Never be condescending or offer an ultimatum because bargaining is not the Polish style. Avoid raising your voice and pounding the table during negotiations; instead be ready for friendly but pointed negotiations. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  16   Maintain eye contact with a direct gaze across the negotiating table that is less intense than in the Middle East and southern Europe, but more direct than in East and Southeast Asia. The time needed for negotiation will depend on the attitudes of both sides and how flexible each side is willing to be. The negotiating process usually takes longer when dealing with the government or public sector than when doing business with the private sector. All important decisions will ultimately be decided by the senior executive or owner of the business. Meeting  protocol   When shaking hands with your host, you should make direct eye contact and state your name. Pleasantries such as “how are you?” are unnecessary in these situations and may be confusing, as Poles take these questions literally. Maintain direct eye contact whenever eye contact is made with you, especially when toasting. Your handshake should be firm and it is customary to shake hands with all those present. As a rule, the first few minutes of any gathering are taken up with everyone greeting everyone else. Some people (usually men in higher positions) will use both hands for the handshake. This is meant to show a positive attitude and good disposition towards the person they are greeting. The use of business cards is common. Include any advanced degrees, professional accreditations and your full title on your business card. There is no need for cards to be printed in Polish. However, Polish companies translate their business cards into English on the reverse. When introduced, either address your counterparts by their professional or academic title plus family name or Pan (Mr.) and Pani (Mrs.) plus the family name. While it is not uncommon for a Polish man to kiss a woman’s hand, it is not customary for all foreign businessmen to kiss the hand of a female Polish colleague, so extending a compliment will certainly help to build a proper relationship. Do not shake hands in a doorway as Poles believe it brings bad luck. You are expected before you leave a group meeting to shake hands with everyone individually. A “group wave” will not be appreciated. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  17   The most common greeting is Dzien dobry (pronounced Djane daubry), which literally means “good day.” Do widzenia (pronounced da vidjaneya) means “goodbye.” How  to  run  a  business  meeting   In business discussions, Poles usually move fairly quickly to substantive issues and presentations need not be fancy, as long as they are clear and easily understood. Presenting in English is fine, as long as supporting documentation is provided in Polish if at all possible. It is important to carry samples for demonstration purposes while visiting Poland or to send samples to a prospective buyer/agent by consignment to elicit interest. Normal international customs procedures will apply to any shipped goods. Follow up letter after meeting with client Once a business arrangement, partnership or joint venture has been agreed, the planning and timing of relevant tasks, deadlines, and future meetings need to be formulated very clearly, ensuring full compliance and minutes of the meeting should be circulated for all participants to read. It is very important to ensure that the Polish partner is fully aware of the importance of complying with agreed deadlines. This is because Poles, on the whole, are not good at keeping in touch, sending confirmations of received letters, faxes and e-mails or responding to telephone calls. On the other hand, Poles are extremely good at improvising and this can help to mitigate unforeseeable problems. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  client   If it has been agreed to continue with the partnership, then the timetable plays a very important role in defining the activities of both business partners. After the tasks are formulated, deadlines are fixed and dates and places of future meetings are decided upon. In the case of one or both of the partners not seeing any future in their cooperation, each party has the right to terminate negotiations and a full explanation for that decision will then be expected. Business  meals   Business entertainment is taken seriously in Poland, because Poles are proud of their many regional varieties of food and are very eager to share them with visitors. There are many upscale restaurants where business lunches or dinners can be organised. We have included it businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  18   as a separate section because formal meals can represent an opportunity to develop social relationship, which, as we all know, can be essential for strengthening any long-term business partnership. But this aspect presents a whole series of questions. Who pays? Should you offer to pay? When and what to eat? Could you refuse a specific dish? Can you discuss business at the table during the meal or when is it most appropriate? Attitudes  to  business  meals   It is common practice to host business meals at a local restaurant at whatever time best suits the participants and meeting schedule. If a business meeting is being held in the office and there is no time to go to restaurant, then a variety of foods including salads, sandwiches, fruit, and a selection of cakes will usually be served. Restaurant  etiquette   Foreign business partners will usually be taken for a meal to a good restaurant. The host will choose the place, make the reservations and pay for the meal. Everybody usually orders what they want, but if it is a traditional Polish restaurant and the visitor is not familiar with the dishes on the menu, the host may offer suggestions. The seating arrangement is casual, but it is usual for men to wait for the women sit down first. Smart and formal dress is expected from everyone. Discussions start after the food has been ordered and continues throughout the meal. Any verbal agreements made during the meal will be honoured and the relevant contract signed in the office at the next meeting. Food  and  drink   Usually, guests start eating when the host says ‘Smacznego’, which can be translated as ‘enjoy your meal’ or bon appétit. A traditional Polish meal starts with soup (zupa), followed by a main course with meat (cutlets) served with cooked (boiled) potatoes or dumplings. Pickles and sauerkraut are popular side dishes and dessert options will often include ice cream, cheesecake, apple pie and “makowiec”, a poppy-seed cake. Vodka is the drink served to celebrate something special. It is drunk chilled, on its own, or mixed with orange or apple juice. The best Polish beers are Zywiec and Okocim. Other  issues  (including  restaurant  vs.  Home)   businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  19   Credit cards are not the norm; so it is a good idea to find out beforehand if the restaurant accepts them. As for tipping, 10% of the total bill is usually expected, but not required. Obviously, if the bill is high, then the amount of the tip is left to the discretion of the person paying. Smoking is allowed in most restaurants, which often have a small non-smoking section. Most people prefer to have a lunch or dinner meeting in restaurant rather than at home. Business  meeting  tips   Polish people are very keen to show that they speak foreign languages and will make an effort to speak English to make their counterparts feel welcome. It is very important however, that the correspondence and final negotiations are really well understood. Therefore, everything has to be put in writing and in both languages. There is a gap in the business culture between the major cities and small towns. In the cities, people are less likely to find time to build a relationship; whereas, in the smaller places, family run businesses have a much more traditional and warm approach to hospitality. The younger generation are more familiar with the Western European and American styles of conducting business than the older generation. Do not send unsolicited faxes or letters written in English in the hope that they will reach the right person. In most cases, they will not be answered. If there is someone in the company who can speak English, make sure that the message is addressed to that person. Make a follow up telephone call. Polish people like personal contact and will respond to it, if interested in your proposal. When setting up an appointment, bear in mind that Poland is a big country and you will need to allow for plenty of travel time. Make sure that you can get to your destination by train or car and find out how long it will take to get there. The railway network is relatively cheap and comfortable, but Polish roads are not up to European standards. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  20     Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   A placement involves the placement of a student in a temporary work or research environment to enable them to gain extremely valuable experience that will benefit them in the long term. There are many types of placement, work placements, school placements and student exchanges. Some companies have placement departments to help integrate new hires into the company. They may also help with paperwork, especially if the candidate is from a different country. Placements are sourced by outside agencies as well as university departments, and most opportunities are advertised through the internet or university career centres. In fact, most universities have career centres that will support and assist students with placement applications, as well as assistance in finding work that compliments their studies or a permanent position following their graduation. Placements are a new thing to most Polish companies, which they are trying to include as part of their strategy to bring in new qualified employees. Many companies now try to attract students through attendance at university open days across the country. These open days are useful to both companies and students because it gives them the opportunity to discuss the possibilities of working together and what each can expect from the other. Internship  and  placement  advice   The practical needs of a local student will be far less than a foreign student, and placement negotiation would usually be limited to salary and duration. As a foreign student, issues including accommodation, work permit (if needed), insurance and health care, taxes, banking and so on, will need to be investigated prior to the submission of a placement application. Social  security  and  European  health  insurance  card   The healthcare system in Poland is a state institution even though private hospitals are regularly springing up. Every European Union resident in Poland on a short stay is entitled to the following health care service under the EEA rules: • Primary health care • Specialist out-patient care businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  21     • Hospital treatment • Dental treatment • Rescue services and ambulance transport You need to have a filled E 111 form issued in their country and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Holder of one of these documents will receive free health services at health care providers who have a relevant contract with NFZ (State insurance company). In case you don’t have these documents you will be required to cover the cost of your treatment by yourself. The same obligation arises in case of treatment provided by a health care unit which has no contract with NFZ. Social security payment should be paid by the company you are working for. Safety Poland has several emergency telephone numbers: 999 for the ambulance service (communication in Polish only) and 112 (foreign language service), 997 for the Police, 998 for the fire brigade If you are using a mobile phone, you will need to dial the local area code first, 22 for Warsaw and 12 for Cracow. • The electricity voltage is 220 V; 50 Hz. • Tap water is safe to drink • The speed limits are 50 km/h within inhabited areas; 90 km/h outside inhabited areas, 110km/h for motorway and 130 km/h on highways. Do  I  need  a  visa?   European Union residents are entitled to enter and leave Poland with no visa requirement. Residents of the United States are allowed to visit Poland for a maximum of 90 days without requiring a visa, unless they intend to work or study. Most visitors from the rest of the world will need to apply for a visa, except where there is an agreement in place between the two countries. Temporary residence permits are available to those who wish to remain in Poland longer than 90 days and who are able to meet certain criteria required by the government. Internship  and  placement  salary   businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  22   A salary should be agreed before the start of the placement and that agreement is between you and the company. Some countries have a minimum hourly rate salary that is applicable to most or all employment situation. You should also consult with the company about your tax situation, if the company will pay income tax or social security tax including health and benefits. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Most local universities have dormitories or hostels available to both local and foreign students. This accommodation is generally cheaper than renting a private flat. Some companies might also have cheaper accommodation for their employees as some sort of company benefits to compensate for less salary. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  23   Cost  of  Living     The cost of living in every country is different and not comparable that is why doing some investigation about where you are going is very important. The living standard in Poland is comparable to other eastern and central European countries but obviously lower than western European countries. Money  and  banking   The Zloty is a metric unit of currency, which is subdivided into 100 groszy and signified by ‘zl’. Poland has many commercial and savings banks with many of them being owned by foreign banks. PKO Bank Polski is the biggest bank in Poland and is predominantly Polish owned, with the Polish Government holding a significant stake. There is no uniform requirement to opening a bank account in Poland and banks may ask for different documents during the application process. The key documents a bank will require are a passport and proof of address in Poland. Bank charges and facilities vary depending on bank and type of account. Also, it is important to note that different banks operate different opening hours, although most branches will be open between 10am and 4pm on weekdays. Travelling  costs   If the placement is in any of the big cities, transportation should not be a problem. Polish public transportation is efficient, clean and punctual and is the easiest and fastest mode of transportation in the capital and country at large. There are student’s discounts available if you produce a valid student card like International Student ID Card (ISID). businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  24     Work-­‐life  Balance     The current economic situation in Poland is not conducive to a favourable work-life balance. With almost 20% of the population out of work, Poland is suffering from high levels of unemployment, which means that employer expectations are extremely high. Due to the subsequent competition in the labour market, there is very little job security. People are often employed on a temporary basis, and their contracts are extended on a weekto-week basis, which can be very stressful for them and their families. If an employee is not willing and able to work overtime, there is a queue of people waiting to take their job. The average working hours are from 8am to 4pm weekdays and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. Most Poles don’t take lunch during the day. Instead, they often eat a sandwich as a mid-morning snack and wait until they get home for dinner. So, if you are ambitious, you will have to put considerable effort into your work life and forget about the balance. Family values are very important in Polish society. Poland has one of the lowest divorce rates in Europe, and this is partly due to the significance of their religious beliefs. Poles value family more than money or professional status. So, when dealing with a Pole, you should be ready to talk about your family and show they mean a lot to you. Weekends are devoted to family life and Sunday dinner at home is still a tradition that must be observed. Some families have small cottages in the countryside where they spend quality time together. Polish extended families are unusually large and members stay in touch with the whole family, even if they leave far away. National  holidays   • January 1st – (New Year’s Day) • January 6th – (Three Kings) • April – Easter Sunday and Monday • May 1st – (May Day) businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  25     • May 3rd – (National Day (Proclamation of Constitution of May 3, 1791). In practice many people book a holiday on May 2nd, in order to have the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of May off) • May 19th – (Pentecost Sunday (the date changes every year)) • May 30th – (Corpus Christi (the date changes every year)) • August 15th – (Assumption of Virgin Mary and Polish Army Day (the anniversary of the Polish victory at the Battle of Warsaw against the Russian Army in 1920)) • November 1st – (All Saints’ Day) • November 11th – (National Independence Day (Poland regained its independence in 1918)) • December 25th – (Christmas Day) • December 26th – (St Stephens Day) • 6 December: It is not a public holiday but it is known as Santa Claus Day, a day when people usually exchange gifts. Working  hours   Normal working hours are from 8am to 4pm on weekdays and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. Employees can take a 15 minute break, if they are working more than 6 hours a day. From 29th November 2002, an employer may allow an unpaid 60 minute lunch break. Going out for lunch is not common and employees normally bring in sandwiches from home. For shift workers, working hours are normally 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, and 10pm-6am. Most shops that don’t sell groceries are open from 10 or 11am until 6pm in the main cities or 4pm in small towns. An increasing number of stores are open on Sundays until 3pm. Most shopping centres stay open between 10am and 10pm Monday to Sunday. The law stipulates that for overtime carried out on the employee’s normal working days, the extra salary must be paid at time-and-a-half. Overtime worked on days when the employee would not normally be working is paid at double time. Staff may be granted time off in lieu instead of being paid for overtime. In reality, in certain sector of the economy , paid overtime businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •              |  26   is not common practice and it is expected that employees will stay at work voluntarily until the job is done. Work  culture   In Poland, working practices depend on who you work for. If you work for the government, working practices have not changed from the traditional hours and expectations. For people working in the private sector, especially those working for big multinationals, they tend to follow a more western style of working with longer hours and less time for family. Poland has a number of legal measures protecting workers. All companies have to adhere to government regulations in the areas of health and safety, discrimination, minimum wage levels, part-time employment, and equal opportunities. Health  insurance   The healthcare system in Poland is mainly a public service for the citizens, but many private hospitals and clinics are also offering health services but you have to pay for it, Polish citizens are entitled to free health care as long as they have their state insurance card. All employers are obliged to pay the health insurance and social security of their employees every month. The services of private clinics and hospitals are faster than the public sector hospitals but you have to pay for it because they don’t accept state insurance card. Visitors to Poland from other European Union countries are entitled to primary healthcare, specialist out-patient care, hospital treatment, dental treatment and emergency services, including ambulance transportation. You need to have a filled E 111 form issued in their country and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Holder of one of these documents will receive free health services at health care providers who have a relevant contract with NFZ (State health insurance company). In case you don’t have these documents you will be required to cover the cost of your treatment by yourself. The same obligation arises in case of treatment provided by a health care unit which has no contract with NFZ. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  27     Social  Media  Guide     Social media usage in Poland has been on an upward trend in the last few years just like everywhere else. 54% of Polish adults (over 18 years old) use social media. The demographics show that social media is used by: 82% of respondents aged 18 to 24, 47% of respondents aged 35 to 64 and 30% among respondents aged over 65. Among respondents aged 18 to 24, social media usage is further broken down as follows: Facebook (74%), nk.pl (40%) and Twitter (2%), whereas those in the age group 25 to 34 use Facebook (58%), nk.pl (45%) and Twitter (4%). In fact, one in five Poles aged over 65 has a Facebook account. The most popular social media sites are Facebook and Nasza-Klasa.pl (nk.pl). Facebook had 10,123,840 registered users, as of December 2012. It had grown by 1,415,560 in the previous six months with a penetration of 26.30% of the country’s population and 42.44% in relation to the total number of Internet users. • Nasza-Klasa.pl is the most popular local social media site, but other local sites include: • Fotka.pl (equivalent of Hi5.com) • Goldenline (equivalent of LinkedIn) SMEs Most companies in Poland now have some form of presence on the internet, predominantly a company website, while some have a Facebook pages, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Many of these social media networks are used for different things by different companies. Businesses in the service sector, like hotels, bars and restaurants, are heavy users of social media; promoting their services and reacting to peoples’ comments about their establishments. They actively seek followers and likes on social media, in order to expand their audience and reach greater numbers of people. By controlling their presence and reacting to people’s comments on social media, these companies are able to shape their image and change people’s opinion of them. They can gain a good reputation for responding quickly to their customers’ concerns. businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  28     Some companies use LinkedIn to advertise vacancies or to find potential employees. These companies can also advice their employees to join different groups on LinkedIn that might or will be beneficial to the company. Technology and manufacturing companies use YouTube because video is an excellent means of showcasing products and demonstrating process improvements. YouTube has the highest daily traffic of all social media network and many major companies use it to advertise current products and introduce new products for immediate customer comment. The biggest users of social media sites for advertising are internet shops selling fashion, mobile technology, household goods and other products, auction sites and dating sites. Most of them use local search engines because they are more visible to local customers. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  29     How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded How to use social media for international business development (4/12) • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  30     How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  31     How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d businessculture.org     Content  Poland  
    •            |  32     How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Poland  
    •              |  33   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristole University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopouloui TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Poland