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How to Create an Org Chart

All organizations experience leadership change over time. Businesses expand and contract to meet current market conditions. One effective and reliable resource is the organizational chart, a diagram that shows the structure of an organization as well as the relationships and relative ranks of its positions. The chart can show an organization's structure from the top levels of the hierarchy to the lowest levels. Here are basic instructions for how to build an org chart.

  • Step 1: Begin at the top of your organizational chart. Draw a box and list either the head of your department or the head of your organization. Enter that person’s name, title and department.
  • Step 2: Then draw a row of boxes below the top box to indicate all the departments that report in to the top person. These boxes should sit in line with each other to show the equal status of the individuals.
  • Step 3: In each new box, enter the names and titles of each of the heads of those departments that report into the top person.
  • Step 4: Next, join the new boxes with the top box by drawing a solid vertical line (also called a connector). You can connect the boxes of the lower level with dotted lines if you wish.
  • Step 5: Continue making boxes below each manager to indicate the various members of their team and their relative position in the hierarchy. Enter names and titles. Connect the boxes from direct report to manager with vertical lines.
  • Step 6: Moving down through each branch, do this for the rest of your department or organization. For any open headcount, draw a box for each with their title and TBH underneath (to be hired).

You should end up with a pyramid-like hierarchy of positions and departments connected by vertical and horizontal lines. This is your org chart. If you want to print or share the chart, you can also use a basic word processing program with simple graphics (you will need to create shapes that you can join with lines) or try org chart software. The advantage to org chart software is you can create org charts automatically from HR databases.

Sample Organizational Charts and Templates

Organizational Chart

Need to create an organizational chart of your own? For an easy solution with over 85 sample chart templates, charting software is a popular choice. Ready-made graphics and layouts help render charts quickly and easily. You can select from a variety of colors and themes.Org chart templates automatically align and arrange everything, giving you professional-looking results and a boardroom quality chart every time. A professionally designed chart, published and distributed to your organization provides a visually compelling method for communicating valuable organizational information to all employees. Create an org chart in minutes and share with colleagues no matter where they are.

Communicating Org Structure in New Hire Orientations

Most HR Managers offer an orientation process for new hires to train them in business practices and direction and to give them organizational history and perspective. An organizational chart can help them figure out company dynamics such as corporate structure and reporting process. Providing access to an organizational chart is something every HR manager should plan to do.

An org chart can head off questions and confusion from the outset and quickly put new workers on the path to productivity. Because new hires want to appear smart and knowledgeable, they sometimes hesitate to ask questions. The org chart puts them at ease giving them a single picture that they can look at and know with confidence where to go to find answers.

New hires can view everyone in the organization—the hierarchy of the company including departments, offices, contractors and basic information about each employee. Connected to a database or HR system (for larger companies) can automate refresh changes with the most up-to-date company information.

Using the org chart, new hires quickly figure out where they stand within their new department, as well as within the entire organization. And because new hires always meet an unreasonable number of people during their first few days of work, the org chart becomes a reference tool when they start wondering things such as "what was her name again?" or "what department does he work in?”

If you don't want to make one of your own, you can use org charting software to build your chart. And the benefits of org charts don’t end with new employees. You can publish your chart to the company intranet or secure website and, bingo, you have a company directory accessible to all your employees. Or keep charts on hand to conduct your entire workforce planning. Now you can visualize your organization.

Additional Resources

For additional information, see upcoming org chart webinars

See Also

External Links

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