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Announcing the 2nd Annual People Pioneers: Honoring the leaders of the people-first revolution

How to Use Your Org Chart as Part of Your People-First Strategy

Dec 28, 2022| Reading time: 12min

BY Ben Pollack

Group Manager of Growth Marketing

When organizations plan their people-first strategy, many forget to examine their current tech stack. But considering how much companies spend on technology – 2.075 trillion dollars in 2022, to be exact – it’s incredibly important that leaders maximize their IT in every way possible. 

Right now, leaders have a lot of priorities on top of thinking through their technology, including retaining talent, strengthening their employee experience, and planning for the future – all of which are impacted by a people-first culture. It’s therefore smart to determine how you can kill two (or three) birds with one stone, all while staying within budget. And what better way to do so than to use something you already have? Enter your org chart.

Use Your Company Org Chart to Create a People-First Culture

Yes, your org chart can help you create a people-first culture. Below are four ways you can embed your org chart throughout your employee journey to create the best experience possible for your people.

But First, A Note About Your Org Chart

There’s no doubt that you can use your org chart to help create a positive employee experience. 

But to be honest, you’re limiting your capabilities if you’re still building your org chart manually. You shouldn’t have to spend time constantly working on your org chart; you should instead be using it (and an updated version, at that) to foster connections across your workforce. 

That’s why your best choice is a dynamic org chart, preferably one that is a part of your people analytics platform. When you have a system that automatically updates and gives everyone a real-time look at your company, you can:

  • Export and explore historic versions of your business (no time machine required). When your org chart not only gives you real-time visibility, but also helps you understand how your organization has evolved over time, you can better measure the success of your headcount planning and DEIB initiatives.
  • Look at your workforce through different filters. An org chart that syncs with multiple HR systems means that you can easily filter by performance, tenure, DEI data, and more. Talk about making more informed decisions.
  • Visualize your organization with maps and rich profiles. Go beyond the basics and reap the benefits of a more well-rounded view of your employees (like that Shane is a beekeeper or that Jessica is fluent in four languages). And when emergencies hit – like black outs or natural disasters – you can quickly determine which people need extra support, now.
  • Encourage transparency across departments. When everyone in your company can access your org chart, you’re well on your way to creating a transparent, people-first strategy.

easily filter through your people

A dynamic org chart helps you create an engaging, supportive people experience across your organization.

Don’t have a dynamic org chart? No problem. You can create one in 20 minutes or less, and then start planning what you’ll be doing with all your new free time. 

Learn more here  

1. Support New Hires During the Onboarding Process

If you’ve ever started a new role and couldn’t keep anyone’s name straight, you’re not alone. It can be difficult for your brain to organize and remember all of the new information during onboarding, nonetheless tidbits you’ve learned about your new colleagues.

While many of us have experienced this scenario in one form or another, most companies are building their onboarding strategy to create a better employee experience…without considering how their org chart can help them achieve their goals. 

It’s valuable to use all of your resources to help create a strong onboarding program, especially since we all know that this stage is a critical part of your employee journey. In fact, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

Therefore, to create a supportive onboarding experience and make the most of your tech stack, look to your org chart. In short, your org chart can be a useful tool for new employees to understand the overall structure of your organization and who is on their team. 

Your org chart also helps new hires:

  • Understand your company’s hierarchy and reporting structure.
  • Identify key stakeholders, their direct supervisors, and the teams they’ll be working with.
  • Learn more about teammates to jumpstart personal and professional connections.

No more asking Jasmine her name for the third time or emailing the wrong Kyle on the People team. When you equip your employees with the right resources, such as a dynamic org chart, they have all the information they need to hit the ground running.

an org chart with employee profiles helps people stay connected

As a part of a strong people experience, send your new hires login credentials before Day One so they can start with confidence.

2. Boost Engagement with Clear Expectations

Oftentimes we become so busy dealing with day-to-day tasks that we forget about the bigger picture. This act of putting out daily fires is mentally exhausting and pulls us further from our long-term goals. Unfortunately, this issue is common across every level within the organization.

Although you may not think of your org chart as a problem-solver, it is one. When optimized, it has the ability to help employees tie their work to a bigger strategy and prioritize what really matters. How?

On the surface, org charts clearly define roles and responsibilities within your company. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that defining expectations can help prevent burnout and keep employees engaged with tasks that matter. Make sure your roles are clearly defined within your org chart by including profiles that provide a job description and how employee success will be measured. Moreover, choose a dynamic org chart whose employee profiles also allow you to house information like quarterly OKRs and KPIs to keep people focused and help them understand how their work ties into the larger department strategy.

Employee profiles in ChartHop

Use your company org chart to help boost your employee engagement by equipping people with specific expectations to help them prioritize their workload.

3. Equip Managers with the Right Information

In a world where more and more employees are quiet quitting, it’s now more important than ever for managers to encourage and support their direct reports. But to do so, they need access to the right information to know exactly how to deliver that guidance.

Luckily, your org chart can help, since it:

  • Gives managers a real-time view of their team. With always up-to-date information, managers can better plan for future headcount needs or reduction of skills gaps to strengthen their team for the future.
  • Provides insight into employee preferences. While your employee directory can help foster community across your organization, it can also help managers lead better. Store information (protected by access controls) like preferred forms of communication, “How to Manage Me” questionnaires, and even personality test results so managers can personalize their interactions with each individual.

Ultimately, your org chart equips managers with the knowledge needed to provide intentional and personalized performance management, and helps direct reports stay focused on their performance and how it ties to the bigger picture. The result? You’re one step closer to creating your people-first culture.

4. Ensure a Culture of Communication and Collaboration

If it hasn’t been made clear already, your org chart is a valuable communication tool. Seeing it as a collaborative platform is helpful for organizations of all sizes, but especially in ones where it can be difficult to keep track of who is responsible for what. 

When everyone can quickly access your org chart (in other words, no more sifting through emails to find the most up-to-date copy), you can:

  • Easily identify the right person to contact for a specific question or issue. When people understand who they should go to for support or guidance, they’re more likely to have a positive employee experience.
  • Show the relationships between different teams and individuals. Your org chart can help employees understand how their work fits into the overall goals of the organization and who they should be working with to achieve those goals. For example, built-out profiles within your org chart can explain how employees’ success is measured in the context of their team.
  • Foster relationships in and outside of the work day. A dynamic org chart creates an engaging user experience that allows people to create connections. This aspect is incredibly important for remote employees since, as talent expert Bill Schaninger explains, “We’re thirsty for interaction with others. We’re not meant to be isolated.” So whether you’re planning a holiday party for those in the Bay Area or sending out invites for your new ERG, robust employee profiles, housed within your org chart, provide you with information to plan and collaborate remotely or meet up in real life.

map headcount

When your company org chart has Map features, your people can see who sits where – within the org and within the world.

Make the Most of Your Org Chart

It’s time to work smarter, not harder. Therefore, consider your tech stack when it comes to creating a people-first strategy. And if you don’t have the right platforms in place, consider pivoting to ones that provide support across multiple use cases instead of just one.

Your org chart can be used in various ways throughout the employee journey to improve communication, collaboration, and understanding of roles and responsibilities within your organization. Ultimately, these benefits all help employees develop a sense of belonging – something incredibly important to help retain your top talent and create a people-first culture.  

Interested in learning more about creating a people-first culture? Read tips from our 2022 People Pioneers on how they made positive contributions to their organization’s People strategy. 

Read their strategies here

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