The Role of Live Org Charts in Business Growth

5 minutes • Sep 4, 2018General

Sustainable business growth is a popular and worthy goal for any business, because it helps organizations attain competitive advantage and deliver benefits to customers, employees, and other important stakeholders. For many, business growth happens at a rapid pace. In an analysis of 15,000 early stage companies around the world, valuation consultancy Equidam found that the first-year growth rate for average companies is 120 percent.

Whether you’re a startup or a mature company aiming for double-digit growth or higher, the rapid pace of business growth can create challenges ranging from finding the right people and keeping them engaged, to ensuring the right processes and tools are in place to help you reach your goals. Live org charts can be instrumental in helping overcome many of the challenges associated with a growing business and can deliver a range of benefits that will keep employees informed and aligned with organizational goals. Here are some of the challenges of business growth and how live org charts can help:

Overstretched Employees

With the rapid addition of new customers, products, or services, employees are often compelled to work harder, sometimes working longer hours and taking on additional responsibilities to keep up with the pace of growth. As a result, rapid change can be stressful for employees. In the flurry of rapid company growth, employees can sometimes get lost in their work and lose sight of where they fit in. Live org charts can help address this reality by giving employees a visualization of where they fit within the organization. A searchable directory and integrations with calendar, contact, and mobile apps put more information in employees’ hands and help them save time looking for and getting in touch with team members.

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During times of growth, company leaders may be stretched too thin and begin to focus more on getting things done than on coaching and connecting with their teams. Unfortunately, when managers miss out on opportunities to develop and build deep relationships with their direct reports, employee engagement and morale can suffer. Live org chart technology helps leaders learn more about the people on their teams and make more meaningful connections with them. Modern org charts help leaders see all of the members of their teams by organizing and displaying important employee information via custom fields such as education, training, and special skills. Managers see beyond the boxes in the organizational hierarchy. They learn complementary skills of team members and other traits and capabilities that make each member of the team unique.

Confused Accountabilities and Misalignment

During times of rapid growth, employees are often called upon to roll up their sleeves and help out in ways and on projects that fall outside their usual areas of responsibility. When this repeatedly happens over time, there’s a chance that accountabilities will become blurred, and individuals and teams can fall out of alignment with organizational strategic goals. When individuals and team become misaligned, not only do individuals lose sight of real business priorities, but confusion and misunderstandings about who is responsible for what can slow business growth and negatively impact employee engagement.

Live org charts keep individual and team alignment front and center by showing very clearly where accountabilities fall. Whether the business is organized by geography, product, or function, live org charts show more than just who reports to whom, but also where teams overlap, have shared leaders, or are matrixed. Modern org chart technology can also be shared throughout the organizations, giving all employees a current view of how their role fits into their team and the broader organization. Employees don’t have to rely on rumor or hearsay to get informed about organizational structure. They can see for themselves in the company live org chart.

Unintended Culture Change

A company’s culture is made up of a range of employee attitudes and behaviors. Many factors influence company culture, including the organization’s rate of growth and structure. For example, organizations structured along functional or product lines can fall victim to the development of silos, which can create a culture where information doesn’t flow freely and teams compete with each other rather than working collaboratively.

In a fast-paced business in the midst of growth, people are often driven to act quickly and may not always take the time to communicate as much as they should. Poor communication within and between teams can create a culture where there is a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities, and eventually, employees miss out on opportunities to get to know each other. Live org charts can help foster increased communication between and within teams, supporting a culture of collaboration. Detailed employee profiles help employees see each other as more than a name in an org chart box. Integrations with Google Apps, for example, can help employees collaborate, share, and see more information all in one place.

Lagging People Processes

When an organization is growing rapidly and faced with urgent matters related to customer demand, competition, or regulatory requirements, people processes such as hiring, onboarding, and training can sometimes take the back seat. However, though they require an investment of time and attention, people processes need to operate smoothly in order for companies to stay on track with growth goals. An organization rapidly adding new customers, for example, must have enough trained service reps available to address customer concerns and requests. However, with so much happening in the organization at once, it can be a struggle to hire and onboard reps quickly enough to ramp up and become productive in time to meet customer demand.

Live org charts can support employee onboarding by efficiently introducing new hires to the organization and giving them immediate access to employee directories, employee vacation calendars, personal profiles, and more. New employees don’t have to take months to learn everyone’s name or who to ask for certain information. Modern org chart technology puts all of that information into the hands of new hires and makes it available 24/7 on any device.

The Need for More Data

No matter what stage of growth your company is in, you rely on data and key business metrics to guide your progress and help employees make decisions. Without tools for market research, CRM, and workforce planning, you can quickly lose touch with the activities of employees and your customers, and you can also lose clarity on the pros and cons of key business decisions. As an example of how technology can assist in making better data-driven decisions, live org charts play a critical role in supporting workforce planning, helping organizational leaders manage employee data and use it to collaborate on staffing and reorganization scenarios. Different versions of org charts can be shared privately with select individuals and then communicated with the rest of the organization when the time is right.

Successfully navigating rapid business growth requires managing challenges related to people and resources, cash flow, customer expectations, and more. However, no matter the stage of growth, organizations need a workforce that is aligned with company strategic goals and has the tools to execute those goals. Live org charts are must-have tools for growing companies to help employees communicate, collaborate, and understand where they fit into the growing organization.

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