It can be hard to think in the office, can’t it? So much to ponder, so little time to think ahead. 2022 seems like it’s light years away, but in reality it’s just around the corner. We need to start asking the big questions about what sort of business we want to be for the next few years.
Milk & Honey turns five in January, so 2022 is a particularly big year for us. We’ve already accomplished a lot – one of the first UK agencies to gain B Corp status, the fastest growing agency in Europe, the first agency to win ‘Best Agency to Work For’ twice(!) – trying to be humble about these things… but we wanted to keep pushing forward as a team.
Getting everyone together to decide the direction of the business can be a challenge, getting everyone into the office is a challenge! So, we made it easy. Time to reinstate our pre-covid annual trip to Marrakech. The whole lot of us (bar the Aussies who are still locked down). And that’s how we ended up here. Don’t we look lovely?
In-between sunbathing, a mini hen-do, and the odd quadbike here and there, we managed to get a lot decided about what Milk & Honey looks like in 2022, 2023 and beyond. So we thought we’d give you a little preview of what we got up to.
The US / UK cross over – and some personal reflection
This was the big one for us. Our US team met our UK team! Months of Teams calls, ‘good morning’/ ‘have a good evening’ crossovers and ‘wait, how do you say it?’ came to an end at the airport. And what better place to get to know each other than four days in Marrakech.
During that time, our US CEO, Paul, led a personal reflection session for the team. The task was simple – name the five most important moments in your career – but that simple question opened up quite a lot.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the month to month, so taking a long view on moments that really helped shift our careers, and our personal development, was a real change of pace. From career moves and quitting jobs to new biz pitches and client calls, the team really had some great moments.
Diversity, inclusion, belonging and wellbeing
In 2020, we set ourselves an ambitious goal to help 250 people from diverse backgrounds into PR careers by 2025, and since then, our diversity team has been working hard to hit that target.
Our new head of diversity, inclusion and belonging, Alexandra Annable, led a session with the team on our new strategy, as well as revealing some of her personal experiences of being neurodiverse in the workplace.
This conversation naturally led into our wellbeing session, led by our associate partner, Caroline Gruen. Mental health is massively important to us as a team, and opening up about our personal experiences, as well as developing plans to protect and improve our mental health and wellbeing framework really brought the team together.
But naturally after these conversations, people need time to relax, so it was time for the pool!
Quadbikes, stargazing and the last night
After a few other sessions where we divided up teams for our ‘sprints’, explored our new Employee Ownership Trust in detail, and looked through our forecasting, we had one night in Marrakech left. So best make it a good one.
In twos, the team quad-biked from our exclusive Taj (think Moroccan paradise villa) into the Atlas Mountain foothills. The trip took about an hour going past camels, goat farms and lots and lots of dust. So much dust.
We didn’t look this clean by the time we got there!
We managed to fit in some stargazing when we arrived, and £3 well spent on a stargazing app led to a lot of ‘That’s Mars! No! That’s Mars!’.
At the end, the whole team have become closer, happier and more equipped for whatever 2022 might throw at us than ever before. We miss it already, but onwards to our trip next year!