Unity, growth, and purpose: behind the scenes at Salad’s Vision days

For over three years, Salad has been investing in quarterly Vision days, bringing the entire team together to discuss the agency’s direction and the bigger picture. Our Vision days are not a one-size-fits-all affair; each gathering is unique, tackling diverse topics and challenges that shape our collective journey.

Our first Vision day was in 2020 and in the early days, we grappled with questions like, “Who do we want to work with?” While such foundational queries are never off the agenda, our Vision days have evolved to encompass far more. We’ve used these sessions to redefine our proposition, agree on investing in a new identity and website, set the five-year vision for the business, and, most importantly, ensure that every team member has a voice and a seat at the table for these critical discussions.

“Our first Vision day was a pivotal moment to reflect on the business and our future direction. Since then these sessions have evolved, always pushing us towards our goals. Coming together as a team brings out our best. I always leave inspired by our creativity, empathy and collaboration.”

Nicole Cook, Head of Delivery

Typically, we meet for half a day, and if there’s one consistency across all meetings to date, it’s that everyone leaves with a renewed spring in their step. I keep wondering if the next Vision day might lack the same energy, given the intensity of the previous ones, but without fail, the conversation is rich, passionate, multifaceted, and deep. Quite simply, by making space for conversations about who we are and where we’re going, we benefit from the multiple opinions and ideas of our smart and passionate team.

We always open the Vision day by reviewing our five-year goal (now four years away). Setting this vision together has been remarkably healthy for us as a business. We all know what we’re trying to achieve, where we’re going, and we have a plan for how we’re going to get there. Of course, this is never at the expense of enjoying the journey. For us, it’s not just about the relentless pursuit of financial goals.

At Salad, we are fortunate to enjoy excellent retention rates. Eight out of our nine-strong team have been with us for more than five years, and our newest recruit has been with us for over two years. I can’t help but wonder if our Vision days and the culture of including everyone in these discussions contribute to that sense of team and togetherness.

It’s undoubtedly easier for a business of our size and shape to invest in days like these that include everyone. But a business’s size shouldn’t dictate whether people feel their voices are heard – it’s a vital contribution to a positive culture and engaged team.

Salad's team discussing values

In our most recent Vision day, one segment centred around our values. We had revised our values a number of years ago, and while they certainly weren’t wrong, we wanted to do an exercise to see if we could improve them. This is something we often do with our clients, and we felt it was time to have a taste of our own medicine, so to speak. I’d hoped the exercise, facilitated by our Strategy and Creative Director Harry, would be positive but it went down even better than expected. It was beyond heartwarming to hear so many stories about what our team value in our business. The results are likely to refine our current values of craftsmanship, collaboration, empathy and resilience, but we feel there’s an opportunity to develop these further into those which are both more pointed and measurable.

“Each Vision day is a chance to review our path and harness the collective creativity of our team, making sure we are all looking in the same direction. More than just another meeting, it is a dynamic space where every voice matters and every voice is heard. There is a renewal of passion, clear focus on what we all need to put our minds towards, and the uplift of positive energy at every touchpoint.

I code better after a Vision day and that benefits everyone, and I feel a sense of a bigger picture that keeps me thinking commercially with what comes next.”

Matt Leach, Head of Digital

Our quarterly Vision days have become a cornerstone of Salad’s culture, fostering unity, growth, and a shared sense of purpose. By creating a space for open dialogue, diverse perspectives, and collective decision-making, we continue to shape a future that aligns with our values and aspirations. Looking ahead, we remain committed to this practice, embracing the power of collaboration and the belief that our greatest strengths lie in the voices of our team.

Salad's Vision day discussions

If you’d like to know more about becoming employee-owned, head over to our Employee Ownership page, or get in touch with us for a chat.

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