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Joyful Agility: HR’s Transformational Role in Times of Change

From Uncertainty to Joyful Agility: HR’s Transformational Role in Times of Change

Chelsea Foxwell, Head of People and Operations, Uptake Strategies 

As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of business, it’s essential that HR leaders embrace and encourage agility and boldness. Melissa Dagless, Head of Growth and Innovation at Uptake Strategies recently wrote about the importance of planning for the actions we may never take. I believe this is a transformational way of thinking that can bring about joyful and confident teams, even in times of uncertainty.

Strong values are always important – ever more so in uncertain times. At Uptake, one of our most treasured values is kindness. By fostering a culture of kindness, we’re able to create a supportive environment where employees feel empowered to take risks and try new things – and able to fail fast in order to succeed. This culture of kindness also extends to our clients, where we strive to create meaningful and collaborative partnerships.

At Uptake Strategies, we know first-hand that focusing on company culture is key to creating joyful and productive teams who deliver results. With agile planning and a culture of continuous improvement, while staying true to our values, we’ve been able to create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and happiness – one that has led to our repeated recognition as an officially Great Place to Work.

This recognition, along with the associated wellbeing accolades we have achieved, is something I am personally incredibly proud of. We continue to grow at pace, and our team has scaled rapidly over the past twelve months. Throughout all of this change, our use of our own ‘practical agile’ methodologies has been invaluable.

Encouraging agile mindsets

Some companies have already embraced agile mindsets across their departments, and they’re reaping the benefits. Take the retail company, Zara, for example. Their openness to change allowed them to stay ahead of trends and quickly pivot when needed. Similarly, tech giant Google encourages their employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects, allowing for innovation to happen organically.

In the pharma and biotech industry, we’ve witnessed examples of companies having successfully adopted agile methodologies in their HR strategies. A study by Deloitte found that those who have implemented agile ways of working receive more frequent and meaningful feedback, better decision-making, stronger business results and higher levels of employee engagement. This approach has led to a confident and engaged workforce that can readily deal with changes.

Transformational agility

It is my opinion that adopting an agile approach to HR planning and encouraging an agile mindset throughout a company culture can be a bold and transformational move for any company. This is particularly true in a business like Uptake, which is growing and evolving so much.

By planning for the unexpected, embracing innovation, and keeping culture and values at the centre of all decisions, we can create confident and engaged teams that are ready to accept and tackle any challenges that come their way, supported by kindness and empathy.

Gain a deeper understanding of how to plan for the unpredictable in pharma brand planning within our latest article, the first in the ‘Innovative Impact’ series for Pharma Market Europe magazine. Discover invaluable insights into brand planning during uncertain times by clicking here.

If you want to create confident and engaged teams that can handle any challenges that come their way, adopt an agile approach to HR planning and encourage an agile mindset throughout your company culture. Contact Uptake Strategies at to learn how our practical agile methodologies can help you foster innovation, growth, and happiness while staying true to your values. Let us support you in unlocking agility and joy in your organization.