Does your business have an org chart strategy, or even use them? If not, it should.

Organizational charts are the graphical representations of structures within an organization. Although they commonly take the form of full company org charts that map out the overall hierarchical chain of command, they can be used to illustrate all kinds of structures and reporting relationships by depicting employees’ pictures and details in boxes and circles on the chart, with lines linking them to other employees or departments. By looking at an org chart, people can instantly see and gain an understanding of how the organization is structured, its departments, its leadership, and where each employee fits in overall.

The Org Chart Revolution

Over the last decade or so, org charts have undergone a massive change led by smart and agile org chart tools and software. Although org charts were once outdated and plain sticky notes on whiteboards and office, they have now been transformed to powerful digital tools that can be used for strategic planning.

Today, org charts are valuable active management tools that can help you identify the big-picture issues and transform your business. By being able to visualize your HR data with org chart tools, businesses like yours are able to proactively plan for now and the future.

The Purpose of Organizational Charts

Typically, org charts have been used by Human Resources (HR) professionals and business leaders for planning purposes. For example, HR populates org charts with the details of new hires, keeps employees’ data updated, and modifies reporting relationships as employees move around the company. On the other hand, business leaders use this information on the org chart to run recruitment campaigns, create statistics, develop presentations, and keep an eye on opportunities for employees to move to new roles or be trained in a new skill.

There is another very important org chart function that is often overlooked, however—acclimating new hires into their new roles. For new employees, the org chart can be a priceless resource that helps them to learn the names of their colleagues, find out who’s who in other departments, and understand where they fit in. New hires are bombarded with all kinds of information and the org chart is a brilliant resource to help them put it all into context.

How Effective Charts Can Transform Your Business

Org charts have far more to them than these things alone, though. Here are three ways that an effective organizational chart strategy can transform your business.

Make Better Decisions

Go back to the early 2000s and org charts were a major burden. They took time to be updated, were inherently static, and most people didn’t take them seriously. These days, however, they are much more advanced thanks to cloud-based charting tools and software that eliminates the labour-intensive process of manually creating, distributing, and updating org charts. Org charts are now things that people recognize the value of. And because org charts are now highly dynamic and can be built instantly by using existing data and kept up to date in real-time with the right integrations, they are far more reliable when it comes to using them for strategic decision making.

As a business leader, having reliable and current data available at a moment’s notice can be invaluable for helping you make informed decisions quickly to plan for growth, align goals with departmental performance, optimize the size and structure of the business, and identify places that need more or fewer resources.

Know Your Employees’ Skills and Experience

As your organization grows, it can be easy to lose track of your employees and their respective skills and levels of experience. Amid your day-to-day management obligations, you inevitably begin to lose touch with the people who keep the lights on. While this is inevitable, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it to mitigate the problem.

By using a reputable org chart tool, you can keep track of this information and actively identify gaps in skills and experience. This means that when a major problem arises, you will be less likely to be caught off guard and not have the right resources available in-house to resolve it. A dynamic org chart will help you see ahead of time when a particular department (or the organization as a whole) is lacking in a key skillset or is missing somebody with a suitable level of experience in a key area. An org chart can also help you visualize areas to transfer certain skilled employees from and to, meaning that the tenured employee can fill the skilled role and a newer staff member can be recruited elsewhere.

Hypothesize Better

Are you milling over the idea of creating a new department? Do you want to diversify your company but aren’t sure if it will work out in practice with your current human capital? This is where an org chart can be of great help—being able to preview the results of a potential structural change helps you identify and solve unforeseen problems.

It may, for example, seem feasible in your mind to integrate one department with another, but in practice, this could put too much pressure on the department’s leader by creating too many reporting relationships. Without an org chart, this is a problem that could have gone unnoticed. This works both ways, too—it may be that you almost created a new management position for the department merger when in actual fact there would have been no need to due to too few direct reporting relationships or overlapping responsibilities.

Simplify Organizational Planning

Your business has a lot of moving parts that are crying out for your attention, and this can cause managers to be more reactive rather than proactive when it comes to organizational planning. Although this may work for your business, it is not an ideal position to be in and it is something that you can change.

By using a tried and tested org chart tool like Organimi, you can take a more targeted approach to organizational planning and spend more time growing your bottom-line.

Why not try Organimi for free, today?