After moving to Canada with a single suitcase, Robert Herjavec has gone on to build one of North America’s fastest-growing tech companies and the country’s largest IT security provider.
Today, Robert is CEO and Founder of the Herjavec Group, a cybersecurity company with locations across Canada, the U.S. and the UK. He also has firsthand insight into what it takes to build a successful business from scratch in a truly global workplace.
We recently spoke with Robert on the Forge Ahead podcast about the nuances of supporting a global workforce, establishing a presence in your target markets, and adjusting to a new remote work-life balance.
1. Establish a Presence in Your Target Markets
Even in the age of globalization, Robert advises against entering a market without having a physical presence in that location. Establishing a physical presence conveys a sense of commitment to customers. It also gives you a better understanding and insight into each market.
“There’s a subconscious bias in your business and in the client’s business when you’re not local,” Robert says. “When we were in America, we were committed to America. When we spoke to our customers, we believed in that commitment. And when our customers heard us speak, they believed in that commitment. […] You have to understand the market. You have to understand how it works.”
Hire employees local to each region and watch your business there take off.
2. Tailor Employee Support Based on Regional Needs
Employment laws are different around the world. A worker in Canada will need a different amount of support than an employee in India. When your workforce is truly global, you’ll need to understand the nuances of employee needs in each country, and provide for them.
“We really value our employees now because people have a choice,” Robert says. “People can go anywhere. And the war for talent is at an all-time high. The opportunity to connect with people is greater than ever. But you need to support them more. And I think the nuances of that are so different in every geography.”
Show you value employees by giving them benefits and support tailored to their needs, no matter where they’re located.
3. Set Boundaries for a Work-Life Balance
Enjoy the flexibility of working from home. But remember to take time off and unplug. In the remote work environment, work and life intermingle instead of having definite boundaries. It becomes all the more important to take that PTO, go on vacation, and leave your laptop at home.
“I think the thing I’ve learned during COVID is that work-life balance is fluid,” Robert says. “I’ve got a bunch of calls, but if I have a free half-hour off, I love the fact that I can go downstairs and see my three-year-old twins. I’ll probably work later than I would have in the old world, but I’ve had more interaction with my family. I’ve learned to appreciate those interactions along the way. So I think that the work-life balance is dependent on restructuring your goals.”
Be as disciplined with your work day as you are with your down time. Give yourself a break and see the quality of your work improve when you return.
Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Robert Herjavec.