What do expat families need away from home? Which factors make a community a desirable expatriate destination?
Our clients trust us and rely on us that we will lead their teams to more success across cultural borders. We are the aspirin to your expat headache. So we researched the most important success factors and compiled them below in the infographic of the Table of Elements for Global Business Readiness.
Economic development and foreign investment doesn’t stop when companies and site officials are done signing contracts are when the workers arrive. For many global professionals, a foreign assignment means moving with a spouse and children. People who leave their country to work abroad not only say goodbye to their home, they also remove themselves from the general frameworks of life they have grown up in and are used to.
This new environment will surprise them, and it will stress them. Living and working abroad takes a toll on every expatriate’s mental resources. Most employers who send staff into foreign locations are aware of these stress factors and the risk involved with expat assignments. Research has shown that between 20-45% of foreign talent transfers fail, which is costing corporations millions of dollars each year. In fact, the challenges of relocation can make or break the project.
As a result most international companies are providing their expat employees with support systems which are designed to alleviate the stress of the team members and their accompanying families. It is important to help new arrivals with a detailed and well researched community orientation tour. Assisting them with the search for an adequate home and the right school for the children. Accompanying them on trips to government agencies, utility offices, banks, doctors offices, etc.
Expats – especially those who go for the first time in their career – are like fish out of water: Aside from the obvious and often expected hard changes – language, home search, new job, climate, cultural differences – it is the realization that an expat assignment is not an extended vacation. And that expectations aren’t always met.
Once the honeymoon period is over, many everyday routines turn out to be rather cumbersome. The new home doesn’t feel like home (yet). Without consulting the navigation system every other traffic intersection becomes a guessing game. The local bank employees speak their own distinct jargon which can be hard to follow. The stores don’t carry all the items expats look for and they are difficult to navigate. Establishing new relationships and making friends overseas is different. Understanding how the health care system at a new location works can be a humbling experience. Visiting government agencies make people feel uneasy and too often foreign service employees wonder if they really understand all the procedures.
Equally important for global business success is whether a city, a community is prepared for the foreign impact. How can a city leverage its unique strengths to differentiate it from others? Is your city:
- regionally and globally connected with public infrastructure, transport, and talent flow?
- competitive economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally?
- attractive to foreigners, tourists, and globally mobile talent, for capital investments, and for major multinational companies?
In the table of elements below we compiled the most relevant factors every city or region needs to address if they want to be attractive for global businesses and create a plan to bring in international and domestic investment.
For more information on how you can prepare your company, your city, your organization, your community for the human impact of global business, please contact our office directly.
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