5 Ways a Live Org Chart Can Benefit Your Organization
A live org chart offers a range of benefits that traditional, static org charts do not. A live org chart provides organizations with improved flexibility, real-time updates, and detailed information about employees, which in turn helps employees understand where they and others fit into the broader organization. However, as with other technology solutions, a live org chart can only deliver benefits if users take advantage of its full functionality.
More than a diagram of reporting relationships, a live org chart is a rich information source, business planning tool, and vehicle for creating deeper employee connections. Here are some of the top ways a live org chart can support employee engagement and organizational efficiency:
1. Presents a Clear Structure
A live org chart can replicate the true, multidimensional structure of an organization. Unlike static org charts that are limited to a finite number of layouts, live org charts can accommodate a range of organizational structures, helping organizations illustrate, for example, geographic, functional, product, or matrix accountabilities. They can also be configured to display a range of employee data fields, customizable colors, and layouts, allowing the org chart to serve as more of a dynamic workplace tool than a static diagram of boxes connected by lines.
A live org chart can also go beyond traditional hierarchical structures by displaying shared-role and dotted-line relationships in just a few clicks. This flexibility saves companies the time and frustration of trying to force these relationships into inflexible static org charts.
2. Integrates with Other Software to Stay Current
Unlike a traditional, static org chart, a modern, live org chart stays current and changes as your organization grows or reorganizes. Through data integrations with payroll and human resource information systems, a live org chart maintains an up-to-date representation of true organizational structure, automatically keeping pace with employee title changes, transfers between departments, and new hires or newly created functions.
An org chart comes alive via integrations with enterprise platforms such as Google, Okta, and Microsoft Azure, syncing the org chart with employee calendars and contacts. In addition, native mobile app integrations allow employees to take company org charts with them wherever they go.
3. Encourages Collaboration
A live org chart can be exported, printed, or embedded in a company intranet, making it a useful tool for planning and collaboration. Organizations scaling for growth and restructuring or engaging in strategic workforce planning can create shareable versions of the chart and use it to collaborate with individuals inside or outside the organization. A live org chart also facilitates more inclusive decision making by creating opportunities for those outside the C-suite to weigh in on staffing or reorg plans that will affect their teams.
4. Supports Company Culture
Company culture consists of many elements—communication, company structure, and people and their behaviors—and a live org chart supports all of these. It provides a relevant, integrated vehicle for improved employee communication and collaboration, helping employees to search for and get the organizational information they need. A live org chart employee directory lets employees upload their photos, share information about themselves, and learn more about their coworkers. Free, open information sharing drives a team culture and provides multiple opportunities for employees to get to know each other. Live org charts also help employees visualize how various teams are aligned throughout the organization and see who is accountable for what.
5. Serves Employees at Every Level
A live org chart not only serves the needs of senior managers and HR, but also delivers valuable information and support throughout the entire organization, from the newest hire to the C-suite.
Executive and Team Leaders
A live org chart affords executive leaders the “5,000-foot view,” but it can also allow them to zero in on teams and subgroups to learn more about existing talent and their capabilities. Senior managers can use live org charts for workforce planning, enabling better data-driven decisions about staffing and position alignment.
Frontline and Team Managers
With tools such as the Who’s Who game, managers can learn more about the individuals on their teams beyond the jobs they perform. This helps them develop deeper relationships and drive employee engagement.
Detailed employee profiles encourage coworkers to learn more about each other. Employees can share their special skills, hometowns, or any other information they wish to include.
A live org chart supports employee onboarding by helping new employees put names to faces, establish connections with their coworkers, and learn where to go and whom to ask for important information.
A Tool Is Only What You Make of It
As with any tool, a live org chart is only as good as the use to which it is put. By not taking full advantage of all that an interactive chart has to offer, organizations can miss out on opportunities to leverage its many benefits. Employee engagement and the quality of employee interactions can fall into negative territory when the live org chart is used only for exclusive groups or when people don’t look beyond the data to get to know individuals on a deeper level. As a result, the following effects can occur:
Loss of Employee Engagement
A live org chart can offer many opportunities for divisional and team leaders to collaborate on important workforce planning decisions. However, when senior leaders hold all the decision-making power at the top of the organization, leaders outside the C-suite can become disengaged and feel left out. When team leaders are excluded from staffing decisions that affect them and their teams, they can feel disempowered and may be unwilling to fully implement those decisions.
A live org chart can be shared with anyone at any level of the organization, so when it’s not shared, key leaders feel left in the dark and are less likely to accept accountability for outcomes associated with staffing and workforce planning decisions.
Poor Employee Connections
If leaders ignore employee profiles and don’t make an effort to get familiar with their employees beyond names and titles, they will be hindered from developing meaningful connections. Connecting with employees helps leaders fully understand each employee’s unique talents. Without that connection, both managers and employees miss out on opportunities to develop relationships of trust and respect.
It’s also important for employees to complete their profiles, and they should be encouraged to share information that will foster better relationships with their coworkers that go beyond the superficial level.
The Final Word
A live org chart leverages modern technology to help employees and leaders develop connections, access important information, and collaborate on key workforce planning projects. When organizations fully utilize a live org chart, taking advantage of its rich employee profiles, its shareability, and its potential to integrate with other talent management software, the pros far outweigh the cons, and a live org chart can deliver endless benefits.