Back in 2017, I was an intern in a manufacturing company for six months. On my first day, I was introduced to a couple of the staff members.
“Meet John Opkins, the Deputy Assistant Shift Manager.” “Meet Charles Eleanor, the Assistant Shift Manager.” That was how I met half of the company’s workforce.
But you know what’s quite intriguing about my experience on that day? I didn’t quite understand the roles of the people I was being introduced to. In my head, I was like, “what is the difference between a Deputy Assistant Manager and an Assistant Manager?”
Of course, I could ask my tour guide, but that might reflect badly on me. So, I simply accepted what I was told. Luckily for me, I found the company’s organogram in one of the office lockers. And therein lay everything about who’s who and who does what in the company.
This is just one example of the benefits of an organizational chart. Below are some other ways organograms benefit your business.
1. Org charts aid hypothetical experiments in an organization
It may be exciting to imagine how certain individuals will function in certain departments or how certain departments will function when merged with others.
Often, organizations carry out this sort of experimental practice when they anticipate a major change or when they think growth is imminent. So, to prepare for the unknown, they experiment with hypothetical changes in personnel, roles, departments, and so on.
For example, “worker A works in HR but he’s got some IT skills. Let’s put him in the IT department to see how he functions.” “Who comes in to replace him in the HR?”
Org charts can help companies prepare this sort of hypothetical experiment on paper or a digital workspace first. That way, the board of executives can have a clear picture of the anticipated changes.
2. Org charts help you identify skill gaps
If you’re asked to list the names of your employees offhand, I’m sure you might score a ten. However, if you’re asked to mention everyone’s qualifications and special skills, I doubt you would score a three.
This is because we don’t keep such information in our heads.
What’s this got to do with organograms, you wonder?
Organograms document the names of your workers, their qualifications, and other special skill sets they’ve got. This enables you to see the skill sets available to you at any given point in time.
“Why would I be interested in knowing my workers’ qualifications and special skillsets?” Someone quips. “What has that got to do with the company’s everyday operations?”
Because you may need such a skill set sometime in the future.
Imagine your company needs someone with special IT skills. By looking at your organogram, you can quickly see whether someone in the company has that particular skill. Shockingly, this person may not even be in the IT department.
According to Emilia Flores, the co-founder of UKBadCreditLoans, “Many organizations take loans to hire staff, get new equipment, and invest in their business marketing. But sometimes, you need to look within your company for other ways of meeting your needs. This may sound strange coming from a lending expert, but loans aren’t always the answer.”
3. Org charts help you scale your workforce
Modern organograms are digitally designed, which means they can be created, viewed, and shared over the internet. The result of this is that anyone can have access to them whenever they need to.
As a business owner or a manager, you may need to know the number of staff currently working in your organization. An org chart helps you find that out wherever you are.
In case you lose some workers, an org chart can help you see how many you’ve lost and how many replacements are required.
By and large, an org chart can help you track the condition of your workforce anytime, anywhere.
4. Org charts aid intra-organizational reporting and communication
No matter the size of your organization, having an org chart makes for a clear reporting structure. With it, everybody knows who heads where, who’s responsible for what, or who does what. When reporting needs to be done, everybody knows where to head to. When something isn’t working, workers are clear on who to talk to or where to hold accountable.
Of course, over time, workers would get used to the working environment, so much so that they know everyone like the back of their hands. But before that happens, they need help to identify their working partners and departments. And on that front, org charts can help out a lot.
5. Org charts facilitate hierarchical coordination
When you don’t help workers to understand who is who in your organization, you cannot blame them for disrespecting their superiors. After all, nobody walks about with their job title stamped on their foreheads.
To ensure coordination, orderliness, and mutual respect in the organization, it’s important for everyone to understand the roles others play in the company.
For example, a junior staff member needs to know how far up the ladder someone with the job title ‘Assistant Manager’ is. That way, he wouldn’t disregard a directive coming from the office of the latter.
6. Org charts simplify the employee onboarding process
When you hire new talents, especially for remote jobs then the onus is on you to help them get familiar with the existing workforce. You have to show them the various departments that are there and what each person represents.
In most cases, this process can take days, or even weeks, depending on the size of the organization. Thankfully, org charts can help simplify the process.
By drawing out the company structure on an org chart, new workers can learn the names and faces of their colleagues on their own without anyone needing to show them around.
Also, when they need to communicate with other departments in the organization, an org chart can help them identify who to talk to in every department.
Finally, org charts make the work process seamless for new hires in the first few weeks of resumption. When they need to submit assignments, report issues, or collaborate with other workers, the org chart can point them in the direction they need to go.
7. Org charts help managers handle inter-departmental communications
How many departments depend on directives from the manager’s office to function? How many workers are under the direct chain of command of a manager?
In most cases, a manager’s job usually cuts across multiple departments. Since they have to oversee and coordinate, their job role might involve getting along with workers or managers of other departments.
An organogram can help managers see how far their chain of command runs. Also, org charts can help managers understand the chain of command in other departments in case they need to collaborate with them.
Imagine that an Operations Manager in a manufacturing plant wants to communicate with the finance department. An organogram can help him understand who to talk to or direct his requests to.