Org Charts – Don’t Overlook This Valuable Tool

Many businesses have a difficult time producing an organizational chart. For some, this feels like a tedious corporate exercise that no longer holds value. For others, there is a preference to prioritize the personalities, skills, and strengths of the employees rather than titles and boxes in a hierarchy. In the midst of the last few tumultuous years of shutdowns and pivots, companies that once understood well the scope of employee roles and the overall company structure are now finding that they need to re-learn some basics. 

What Is an Organizational Chart?

An organizational chart, sometimes referred to as an “org chart,” is typically a diagram or a visual representation that shows the internal structure or hierarchy of a company. The employees or positions are represented by boxes or shapes with straight lines or links connecting each level or department together. 

Why do we have Org Charts?

Your company might use an org chart as a management tool, for planning purposes, or as a personnel directory. The chart can show work responsibilities and reporting relationships and they can allow employees to better understand how their work fits into the company’s overall scope. 

These can also be useful for people outside of the company such as potential investors, clients, and suppliers, to grasp a better understanding of the company structure. 

As the world changes, it is becoming more and more essential to have a clear understanding of company’s structure for the purposes of communication, growth, and culture. Through design, organizational charts can make a statement of an organization’s beliefs, values, culture, and philosophies.

The Benefits of Creating an Organizational Chart

1. Company-wide Clarity

An organizational chart, made public to all, is an effective means for every company member to know exactly where they fit in the company’s overall structure and how exactly they can ‘make the gears turn,’ leaving no room for uncertainty and confusion. By making the chart public, clear communication regarding the chart can be open to all, facilitating discussions about opportunities for growth and innovation and providing a clear roadmap.

2. Hiring Success

Before any new hire joins a team, informed decisions must be made. An org chart helps leadership determine where there might be possible opportunities to fill gaps where a function is missing or there isn’t a current person accountable for a process. When functions and roles are clearly defined in a chart, it becomes easier for a company to measure employee contributions and determine where growth can occur.

3. Culture Cultivation 

An essential part of every great company is having a great culture, one that is understood and shared by all. Although culture is organically cultivated, it doesn’t happen without a strong foundation. Your org chart will demonstrate to employees, both current and future, your commitment to a healthy work environment. Sharing an org chart with a new hire as part of their onboarding experience will help them remember names and faces, as well as relationships between teams or departments. It also fosters a ‘big picture’ focus with all employees when it can be easy to get mired in the day-to-day tasks. With an org chart, employees can tie their work to a bigger strategy and prioritize what matters most.

4. Adapting Without Alienation

As the business world continues to transform and evolve, companies continue to adapt and reshape their futures. For many, this includes a remote or hybrid work option. With an organizational chart, remote employees can visualize their role in the entire company structure which may help them feel more engaged rather than isolated. An organizational chart can help them visualize the value that they bring to the company.

Does Your Company Need to Create an Organizational Chart?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your company have several different teams and/or departments, 
  • Are there times when there is a lack of clarity about who is managing which projects or employees, or who is responsible for certain functions?
  • Is your company growing? Is there a need for additional employees?
  • Is your company searching for outside investors or financial capital?

Every company is unique, and an organizational chart is not a blanket solution for all, but if you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, creating an organizational chart is in your best interest!