Beyond Employee Focused: Building a Strong Work Culture with Remote Employees

Date and Time
Previously Recorded
December 7, 2023 3:00 PM
Webinar Length
On-demand Recording
30 days
CEU Amount
CEU Type
Dr. Britt Farley, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA-WA, AL
K-Now Behavioral Solutions
Kelly Robben, MA, MPH, BCBA, COBA, LBA
K-Now Behavioral Solutions
Anissa Jepson, Ed.D., MS, BCBA, LBA
K-Now Behavioral Solutions
Webinar Description

An employee focused work setting is centered on ensuring employees are supported, included, and taken care of. However, in a remote setting it is key to go beyond an employee focused mode. Within a remote organization the focus needs to be on leadership accountability, belonging, stability, communication, flexibility, etc. Today's presentation will discuss these targeted tasks to build a strong work culture with remote employees.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify key strategies in creating a strong remote work culture.
2. Develop company initiatives to target the remote work atmosphere.
3. Identify virtual tools to increase remote staff engagement.

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Webinar Summary

Cultivating a Resilient Work Culture in the Age of Remote Employment: Insights from The Motivity Mentor Series Episode 2

In the wake of the shifting work landscape prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has emerged as a transformative force in ABA service delivery. The Motivity Mentor Series webinar "Beyond Employee Focused: Building a Strong Work Culture with Remote Employees" was led by the leaders of K-Now Behavioral Solutions, Dr. Britt Farley, Kelly Robben, and Dr. Anissa Jepsen. As military spouses, they adopted remote work long before 2020. Their collective experience, spanning over 13 years in telehealth, has rendered invaluable insights into remote work dynamics, and strategies for cultivating a resilient work culture within an ABA organization.

Remote Work: Statistical Insights and Future Projections

Forbes statistics (Forbes Advisor, 2023) shed light on the current state of remote work. Currently, a notable 12.7% of employees are engaged in full-time remote work and a staggering 98% express the desire to transition to remote work or hybrid arrangements. 

Shifting to remote work presents its own set of unique challenges; particularly regarding security concerns, employee burnout, and fostering connection. But, when done right, remote work offers an array of benefits, including heightened productivity (35%), a significant desire for continued remote work arrangements, and substantial cost savings for businesses, estimated at up to $11,000 per employee.

K-Now, through their extensive experience, outline strategies for leading a successful remote team in Applied Behavior Analysis service provision.

Nurturing Successful Remote Teams: Recruitment and Onboarding

Recruiting the right talent for remote work demands a strategic approach that goes beyond traditional ways. Embracing remote work requires a tailored recruitment process that ensures a candidate's suitability for the unique demands of a remote setup.

"It’s important to tailor your hiring process to make sure they’re the right fit as remote work doesn’t work for everyone." - Dr. Jepsen

Essential Traits in Remote Work Candidates

Identifying candidates with specific skill sets and attributes conducive to remote work is crucial:

  • Strong Communication Skills: Effective written and verbal communication forms the backbone of successful remote collaboration. Candidates should demonstrate clarity, professionalism, and adaptability in their communication style.
  • Tech Proficiency and Adaptability: Remote work relies heavily on digital tools. Candidates must showcase tech-savviness or a willingness to adapt and learn new technologies integral to remote collaboration.
  • Adaptability and Organizational Skills: Remote work blurs the lines between personal and professional life. Candidates should exhibit adaptability, self-discipline, and strong organizational skills to thrive in this environment.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Remote work often entails independent decision-making. Candidates with robust problem-solving skills navigate challenges effectively and contribute to innovative problem-solving within a remote team setup.

Tailored Onboarding for Remote Success

Upon hiring, effective onboarding becomes paramount to set the tone for a successful remote work journey:

  • Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate expectations, goals, and responsibilities from the outset. This clarity fosters a sense of direction and purpose for the newly hired remote employee.
  • Communication Channels: Introduce and discuss the preferred communication channels to ensure seamless interaction among team members. Establishing regular check-ins and team meetings helps integrate new hires smoothly into the remote work culture.
  • Structured Workdays: Guide new hires in structuring their workdays to promote productivity. Encourage time management practices that facilitate a healthy work-life balance.
  • Promoting Self-Care: Emphasize the importance of self-care practices to prevent burnout. Encourage breaks and provide resources for mental health support to maintain employee well-being.

Tools and Support for Remote Employees

Offering the necessary tools and resources contributes significantly to the success of remote employees:

  • Technical Infrastructure: You might have to/can provide essential hardware, internet connectivity, and subscriptions required for seamless remote work operations.
  • Workspace Setup Assistance: During onboarding, assist new hires in setting up their home offices. Educate them on the importance of delineating workspaces from personal spaces for increased productivity and also to keep it professional.

Cultivating a Vibrant Remote Work Culture

Building a robust work culture in remote environments demands intentional efforts to foster engagement, connection, and a sense of belonging among team members, despite physical distances. Creating a thriving work culture entails several key initiatives and practices:

Prioritizing Communication and Engagement

  • Clear and Open Communication: Encourage transparent and open communication channels. Regularly scheduled meetings, both formal and informal, ensure alignment on tasks, goals, and foster a cohesive team spirit.
  • Utilizing Technology: Leverage technology for face-to-face interactions through video calls or conferencing tools. Encourage the use of video during meetings to establish a more personal connection among team members.
  • Establishing Mentorship and Support: Implement mentorship programs or assign mentors to new hires during onboarding. This practice helps newcomers integrate into the team and provides them with a go-to person for guidance and support.

Creating a Sense of Belonging and Collaboration

  • Promoting Team Collaboration: Encourage a collaborative environment by setting team goals and allowing ownership of projects. Valuing input from all team members fosters a sense of inclusion and belonging.
  • Defining Mission and Vision: Clearly articulate the company's mission, vision, and values. Involve team members in shaping and reinforcing these principles, creating a shared sense of purpose.
  • Engaging in Team-Building Activities: Organize virtual team-building activities or social events to facilitate bonding and camaraderie. This strengthens interpersonal connections and reinforces the team's unity.

Nurturing Accountability and Motivation

  • Establishing Accountability Measures: Develop clear policies and document processes to maintain accountability. Balance rules with a focus on employee happiness and job satisfaction.
  • Promoting Self-Management: Encourage autonomy and self-management among employees. Highlight achievements and recognize contributions, fostering a culture of appreciation.
  • Offering Incentives Beyond Financial Rewards: Incentivize performance through rewards that go beyond financial gains. Acknowledging the flexibility and perks of remote work can motivate employees to excel.

Embracing Self-Care and Mentorship

  • Encouraging Self-Care Initiatives: Emphasize the importance of mental health and self-care practices. Provide opportunities for breaks during work hours and support overall well-being.
  • Facilitating Mentorship and Learning Opportunities: Offer learning and development opportunities, including internal and external continuous education sessions. Regular check-ins and peer support programs contribute to professional growth.
“It’s important to use technology not only to serve our clients but also our employees” - Dr. Jepsen 

Whether in-person or remote, a strong work culture is the culmination of attitudes, behaviors, and initiatives within an organization. It is nurtured through strategic planning, consistent communication, and a collective commitment to shared values and goals.

About K-Now Behavioral Solutions 

K-Now is an industry leading innovator of family centered ABA-based services and telehealth; focusing on the education and support of military affiliated populations. To learn more about their services, courses, mission, and core values, visit their website, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

“I’ve tried so many different platforms and Motivity is the only one that has stuck for us” - Dr. Britt Farley