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Great people are the foundation of a great distributed team. But they aren't enough on their own. Here are 10 things they will need to help them grow and thrive:

01. Support
A remote worker needs to know that someone wants them to succeed: someone who can guide them if they're feeling lost. Every person on a distributed team needs a mentor. In return, everyone on a distributed team needs to be a mentor. This ongoing flow of responsibility keeps the team focused on helping one another.

02. Communication
One of the biggest dangers for a distributed team is silence. It's too easy for a team member to slip into a funk if nobody's chatting. At the same time, interruptions kill efficiency. Planned weekly communications keep a team connected. Talk about the company, its processes, and new business. Celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries and other positive events. Maybe you can't all share the cake, but you can still sing happy birthday in a hangout.

03. Definition
The team needs to understand what is expected of it, even when it works autonomously. Write down how things work and always provide a channel for discussion. Revisit your process quarterly or after major shifts to make sure it still makes sense.

04. Planned in-person meetings
Located teams can head to happy hour to talk about tough stuff going on at work. Remote workers don't get that chance. That's why face time needs to be planned. The importance of hanging out can't be overstated. There's a huge difference between getting an email from someone you've never met and getting one from someone you laughed at when they fell off the mechanical bull.

05. Multi-local presence
Don't think of a distributed company as location-less: think of it as having many locations. Celebrate being multi-local by letting remote workers create or sponsor events. Provide a budget for this to empower them to grow their own communities. As well as helping team members feel connected, this will establish a bigger presence for your company.

06. Autonomy, mastery, purpose
Daniel Pink's book, Drive, teaches us that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the keys to happy, effective workers. Every member of a team has to have some control over their day and career. One way to do this is to let the team choose who they work with and which projects they take on. Ultimately, doing work that matters to you trumps everything else.

07. Transparency
If a team is going to have autonomy, it needs to have all the relevant information. Otherwise, team members can't make good decisions. How much money is in the bank? Is the new business pipeline full, or are leads trickling in? Are clients satisfied? How do my team-mates feel about the work we're doing? How do they feel about me? Be open and share.

08. Ambient accountability
We act differently in public than in private. When things go wrong, talk about them publicly. Keep all communications public, even difficult ones. By sharing the outcomes, everyone gets stronger and understands what's expected. Make all company plans and commitments available for review. Publish all meetings and make visitors welcome to listen in. A culture of openness creates trust.

09. Trust
Without trust, you aren't a team: you're a group of individuals. Trust is when we know other people are doing their jobs and we can focus on ours. A lack of trust means that people are constantly leaving their commitments to check on someone else's. This will suck the energy out a team.

10. A good culture
Culture is the toughest thing for any company to create. You can't force it. It emerges from individuals and the opportunities they have to connect, share, and create experiences together. A great distributed team has someone who looks for those sparks that show up in a message thread and nurtures them into opportunities for people to bond.

Now it's up to you
There isn't a magic formula to help your remote team kick ass. But, what you can do is commit to welcoming everyone into the fold. Be willing to give everyone a voice. Enable them to help the team in ways unrelated to their core skill sets. When you know you make a difference, that gets you into the virtual office on time.

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