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Should HR play a bigger role in business decision making?

By Nick Wilson | |6 minute read

Increasingly, business leaders are involving HR in strategic decision making. Could your business benefit from a more integrated HR function?

In any pursuit, a shared goal brings people together. When The HR Leader sat down with author, speaker, and business leader Margot Faraci, we got to hear about how she partners with HR to bring about compassionate change.

“I’ve been a people leader most of my career, so I’ve had responsibility for results,” said Ms Faraci. “The first thing I would say is I just love having an HR partner who is in the trenches with me, who cares about the results as much as I do because, ultimately, that’s what I’m on the hook for.”


As a leader, HR can be treated as an accessory – a separate, last resort – or it can be brought into business decision making.

“We can’t have leaders in the positions I’ve been in who see HR as the hired hands or just a compliance mechanism,” said Ms Faraci. “That’s not helpful, and, actually, it’s undignified for HR.”

“What that looks like is, whenever there’s a hard conversation with someone in my team to be had: ‘I’m going to pass that to HR. Whenever there’s a mental health issue, a bullying issue, a sexual harassment issue … I’m going to pass that to HR’. Absolutely not,” said Ms Faraci.

“You are the leader. You have chosen these people. You have those conversations. You are guided hand in glove with HR absolutely. Around the bounds of what you can and can’t say, make your decisions, take the risks that you’re willing to take.”

While some conversations are strictly reserved for HR, many business leaders will defer to HR unnecessarily, whether out of caution, disinterest, or expedience.

“This is not HR’s job unless there are circumstances in which the person doesn’t want to talk to you as a leader or whatever it is,” said Ms Faraci.

The role of HR leaders is changing and growing. As noted by Eva Majercsik in an article for Forbes: “More and more CEOs are turning to the HR executive to support with decisions in DEI, sustainability, workplace strategy and, most importantly, strategic decision making.”

“We continue to see HR leaders gaining more visibility and recognition as business leaders; as a result, we’ll likely see more companies bringing their HR leaders into strategic company decisions over the next few years,” Ms Majercsik added.

While business leaders can take the step of bringing HR into the operational fold, HR leaders too can take the initiative in going beyond minimal, strict compliance.

“If you’re an HR leader and you think your job is merely compliance or merely to provide information and not influence a decision, then I think you’re missing a trick, too,” said Ms Faraci.

“I think it’s time to step into your power and actually own why you’re there. Most HR leaders are there because they care about people. Often, the really compliant way – the way that the statute says or the way that the corporate policy says – is not actually the kindest way to treat someone,” she added.

“Often the kindest thing to do to someone is have that really upfront conversation. And I would just ask all of HR to really step into your power. You’re there because you care about people, and that is a noble cause.”


Change management

Change management is the process of guiding workers through a change by monitoring its effect on their output, morale, and other stakeholders is part of the change. This can be carried out constantly or on a set schedule, such as weekly, monthly, or yearly.

Nick Wilson

Nick Wilson

Nick Wilson is a journalist with HR Leader. With a background in environmental law and communications consultancy, Nick has a passion for language and fact-driven storytelling.