Culture shock jolts 60% of foreign workers in Vietnam
As many as 60% of foreign respondents, who are working in Vietnam experience culture shock regarding “social value system” due to the lack of preparation through special training courses for foreigners, the Thanh Nien newspaper cited a recent survey from Navigos, a human resource firm.
The survey on “Overseas candidates: Expectation and challenges when working in Vietnam” was carried out on overseas respondents from different continents and working positions.
Accordingly, top three causes leading to the culture shock among foreign workers are language barrier, which accounts for 29%, the contrast between expectation and reality including environment, local culture and relationships makes up 27% and lack of understanding represents 18%.
The respondents also mentioned difficulties in communicating with other people, lack of support and cohesion with local social community, difficulties in integrating with the new environment and local culture as well as the feelings of loneliness and isolation for the lack of interaction.
Meanwhile, three factors are considered the most advantageous when working in Vietnam are chances to gain new experiences in work and life, better income but the lower cost of living compared to other countries and better geopolitical security.
Bar chart shows causes leading to the culture shock among foreign workers in Vietnam. Source: Navigos.
However, 30% of respondents chose Vietnam as the most desirable workplace, ranking the country the first among the South Asian countries while 24% of expats in Singapore, 17% in Thailand and 8% in Malaysia said so about their countries of residence.
The survey also elaborated that 50% foreigners want to work in Vietnam to experience the local culture and working environment, half of them are interested in the culture while other 24% want to work in new markets. Foreign respondents said that they do not aspire to obtain higher promotion in Vietnam.
Although they are satisfied with Vietnamese incentive and welfare policies, 53% said that their countries have better policies while 26% considered Vietnam’s better and 19% believed there’s almost no difference.
Navigos forecast that the demand for foreign workers in Vietnam will continue increasing by over 20% in the coming years due to the emergence of several fields while the domestic manpower has not responded yet in both quantity and quality.