Image source: Lucidchart
An organization chart, an org chart in short, is crucial for organizations no matter their size. They can help new hires understand the structure of the organization and the management team to know how many employees they have and who is responsible for what. A good organization chart has a few essential elements that we will look at below.
Fitting on a Single Page
Although this is not as important as some of the points we will look at, it is important for usability and user experience. No one wants to scroll far horizontally or vertically to see the entire structure of an organization.
Doing so can become a nightmare for larger companies that have many employees, teams, and departments.
Using a tool to create an org chart that leverages both vertical and horizontal arrangement of boxes can make things much easier.
Such an arrangement can fit a lot more items on a single page, which can reduce the amount of scrolling one has to do.
Such an arrangement also makes it much easier to go through the org chart and get the information you need quickly.
Simplicity and Clarity
An org chart should be simple. Where possible, it should use the most rudimentary tools and structure to achieve its function.
This will make it clear who is occupying what position, which streamlines reporting and shows clear lines of communication and hierarchy.
A convoluted org chart can make it difficult to see the relationships between different employees. It can also make it difficult to see which departments are in the business while also making reporting and communication much harder.
Reliability and Availability
In the past, there was a tendency for organization charts to become outdated. This is because they were created on paper, which made it more difficult to update them.
If one wanted to do this, they would have to create a new chart, or else they would have a complicated mess on their hands.
Modern org charts do not present this issue because they are digital. The software used to create them today is smart enough to help you create an organized chart. These tools make it much easier to update org charts.
Some of them are also smart enough to update the chart by themselves. For example, if an employee’s access to the company’s systems is revoked, it is safe to assume they have been let go and the software will see this too and update the position they previously occupied.
Every org chart should be built with inclusiveness in mind. This means it should include everyone working in and for the business from top to bottom. It should also include those working in-house, remote and hybrid workers, as well as freelancers.
Everyone who contributes to the success of the business should be included in the chart. Doing this makes people feel included, which gives them a sense of ownership and belonging. It also paves the way for better communication in teams with employees located anywhere in the world.
Title and Name in the Same Box
The positions of different employees are what define the structure of an organization rather than the person currently occupying the position. The org chart should have both the title of the position and the name of the person occupying that position. The role should come first as that helps understand the structure much better.
Creating an org chart like this also makes it easier to change the name of the person while leaving the role in place in case of a new hire. It also becomes easier to move people to different positions without changing the place of the role in the org chart.
Clear Separation of Titles
In some organizations and small businesses, one person might have different titles depending on what they handle. For example, the CEO might also be the VP of marketing. A good org chart should separate their titles and add them in multiple places in the appropriate place they occupy in the organization’s structure.
This makes it easier to show which people work under them in their different roles instead of lumping them together as would happen if there was no separation of titles. Also, the structure and chart are not affected if the business decided to hire someone for one of the roles. All that needs to happen is a change of the name, with the title and position left intact in the chart.
Although they may seem very complex, org charts are very simple if created and used correctly. A good org chart should be easy to use, present information without much effort, and include everyone employed by the business, whether in-office or remote.