Culture Matters - How Cultural, Community, and Social Progress Drive Employee Quality of Life and Attract FDI

Culture Matters - How Cultural, Community, and Social Progress Drive Employee Quality of Life and Attract FDI

Curated Content Related to Trends in FDI

FDI  is a strategic imperative for most communities, cities, states and even the country, because it drives economic progress, promotes local job creation, increases wealth and quality of life standards, and attracts talent and innovation. It’s no surprise that communities work hard to be competitive and cultivate the kinds of attributes that foreign firms seek most when looking to expand.

In the past, primary goals often seemed focused on providing a location that would encourage productivity gains, aid in reducing costs (local wage rates), and provide an overall ability to increase competitive edge. Certainly the importance of these factors is still as strong as ever, but according to the thought leaders, industry analysts, and economic directors in the industry, there is also a growing trend toward evaluating locations based on the quality of life factors they can offer their employees – things like access to education, quality healthcare, a diverse and culturally cosmopolitan community, strong social network offerings, etc.

So why the change, slow and subtle though it may be? Is it that companies have for some unexplained reasons decided to show a more caring face to their employees? Or, is it that employees themselves have driven this change through their employer choices and perhaps a willingness to demonstrate with their feet (a cultural shift in its own right) their dissatisfaction with companies that don’t place employee satisfaction and quality of life high on their list of attributes when selecting foreign locations?

The content articles below, curated from a variety of thought leaders, consulting firms, and industry analysts, provide a variety of informed opinion and thoughtful predictions related to quality of life trends in FDI attraction.

Tools, Resources, and Strategies for Local Leaders Driving Strategic Change and Growth in FDI

In this National League of Cities guide by Christiana K. McFarland (Follow on Twitter at @ckmcfarland) and  J. Katie McConnell offer elected leaders at the local level a guide for driving FDI and international trade through economic development efforts.

The purpose of Strategies for Globally Competitive Cities is to provide local elected officials, practitioners and regional stakeholders with resources, practical strategies and promising practices. In particular, the guide focuses on foreign direct investment (FDI) and international trade. It also encourages innovative and forward-thinking leaders to take action with initiatives that improve quality of life and increase competitiveness for FDI regionally and nationwide.

“…the economic development calculus must change. In order to remain competitive and continue to improve the quality of life and well-being for all residents, local and regional leaders need to see that their greatest competition may not be with each other but with other cities around the world, that investments in core regional assets, such as education and infrastructure, are critical, that small businesses can be a vital source of economic growth, that institutions of higher education and students can enable powerful global connections and that foreign investors can be effective development partners.”

To read more, including reinforcement of the importance of the “work of cities and the innovations of those at the grassroots level,” that will drive sustainable growth and real change (get the guide here).

Defining the Connection between FDI and Social Progress

Basic Human Needs - Social Progress

Steven Almond and Michael Green, in their joint report from Deloitte and Social Progress Imperative respectively, examine the impact community  or country, social progress has on FDI attractiveness (as opposed to traditional leading economic indicators).

“Social progress both develops with and attracts Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Social progress developments across infrastructure, institutions, political stability and security, and skills and quality of life help countries climb the ladder of economic and social growth. Taking a holistic view on inclusive growth can help governments focus their policymaking, support international organizations and NGOs, and inform investment decisions by multinational companies to promote shared prosperity.

Understanding the Social Progress Imperative

“Social progress is defined as an increasing capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.”

“At its core, the Social Progress Imperative aims to empower communities with new ways to think about and measure success. We bring governments, businesses, and civil society together around a new vision of what their communities could be.”

For more information, visit: http://www.socialprogress.org/.

Apto Culture Matters 

Each report, analyst and thought leader emphasizes the importance of employee quality of life as a key attribute in FDI attraction. Apto is a community-minded tool that brings people and communities together through cultural and linguistic understanding. The heart of Apto is where language and culture meet to create community. It is the philosophy through which Apto understands, pursues, supports, and will actively contribute to the Social Progress Imperative.