5 Features to Consider When Buying Org Chart Software

May 13, 2022
Reading time: 13 min

If you’re not one of those blessed people that knows (and never has to waver from) your beloved Levi’s style number, you’ve been faced with decision paralysis. Looking at that wall of jeans – or worse, the 174 online choices of styles and cuts – can make even the best of shoppers pause.

So many options can be overwhelming with any shopping decision, especially ones in the business world that affect your whole company. From vetting vendors to sifting through customer reviews, choosing the right software can be a lengthy process to identify a solution that speaks to all your needs.

Moreover, the stakes are high if you’re investing time and money to set up new technology, especially if you have to manually upload all of your data and schedule meetings to do so. No one has time for that – especially if your choice isn’t a guaranteed slam-dunk.

Luckily, when it comes to investing in org chart software, finding the perfect match doesn’t need to send you into a tailspin. Here are five key aspects to keep in mind when shopping for org chart software.

1. Seamless HR System Integrations

Let’s be honest. When you juggle multiple sets of metrics on various spreadsheets, things can get confusing. This leads to spending your days manually inputting data, switching back and forth between HR platforms, and creating even more spreadsheets. Sounds fun, right? What’s worse, spreadsheets typically don’t have the most up-to-date data, leading to skewed or unsupported decision-making.

You don’t want to manage yet another platform. You need one that can bring them all together.

It’s therefore important to choose an org chart that allows for seamless integrations with your pre-existing HR systems. This eliminates the need for manual work and transforms your org chart into a single, real-time picture that holds all your invaluable people data. Instead of spending time rushing to create an up-to-date org chart before your next big meeting, you’ll be able to do something a little more rewarding, like donning your power suit and refilling your cup of coffee.

ChartHop integrates with your HRIS and payroll systems

ChartHop seamlessly integrates data from your HR tech stack into your org chart so it is always up to date.

Your org chart software should integrate with:

  • Payroll and HRIS: Solidify your compensation strategy by having all your compensation data, like payroll, equity, and benefits in one place. Many companies use multiple HRIS and payroll providers, so the platform you choose should be able to support integrations from all.
  • ATS or Other Recruitment Software: Easily see which roles are open or hired – automatically. A truly user-friendly solution will allow you to drag and drop people around a sandbox org chart so you can easily visualize different headcount plans.
  • Management Software: Manage onboarding/offboarding workflows, ensure security, enable employee SSO, and more as your team develops. Your org chart – with people data and employee profiles – will provide context for everything from headcount planning to employee engagement so your managers can be confident in their employees’ performance, as well as their own.

2. Easy-to-Use Functionality

Between tracking down names and titles, modifying slides, and cross-referencing spreadsheets for quality assurance, creating an org chart from scratch can be tedious. You may even find that you’re spending more time wrangling data instead of actually analyzing it.

When shopping for org chart software, look for technology that does the work for you. This includes features like:

  • Automatic syncs from your HR tech stack. Set it and forget it, just like those late-night infomercials suggested.
  • Intuitive formatting so you can spend your time focused on people and not on updating boxes on slides.
  • A drag-and-drop interface to easily add and change roles as your company evolves.
  • Easy exports to increase visibility for all departments and levels.

Importantly, easy-to-use doesn’t mean you can navigate it only after hours of onboarding. Consider the benefit of all employees having access to – and understanding – your org chart with one click.

ChartHop org chart easy navigation

ChartHop's org chart allows for easy navigation across your org.

Joe Taranto, HR Generalist and Project Manager at Rémy Cointreau, reaped immediate benefits after his company invested in org chart software. Before buying a platform that updated and synced automatically, Taranto spent four to five hours per week manually updating the company’s org chart. Because it was such a laborious process, he wasn’t able to quickly share timely key insights.

Taranto explains, “When a VP or director of a team needed an org chart – and if they weren’t already fully updated – we just couldn’t provide it on the spot.” Now that Rémy Cointreau has chosen the right org chart for their needs, Taranto can spend less time manually adapting the chart and more time using the data to drive decisions.

3. Engaging Design

Do you remember that kid in school that used the multi-color pack of highlighters? They knew what they were doing. Color is a strategic tool to quickly identify similarities, differences, groups, and patterns. When used in your data analytics arsenal, color-coding can help you see who is on what team as well as granular datasets like gender, ethnicity, skills, and engagement levels. That’s because colors help you quickly come to a conclusion visually that may have taken you hours to arrive at (if at all) if you were forced to dig through spreadsheets.

For example, if you’re reviewing data by gender and notice that every sales team member pops up blue (to signal that they’re male), you know you have a gender disparity issue on your hands that should be addressed immediately.

ChartHop attaches color-coding to different filters

ChartHop's org chart attaches color-coding to different filters so your eyes can easily identify relevant groupings.

Additionally, an engaging and straightforward design should allow for employees to immediately jump into the platform without a long onboarding process. That way, they’ll see the immediate benefits from viewing teams, performance ratings, career levels, and a filterable employee directory. The most robust platforms even offer historical versions of your company. As cliche as it sounds, the picture of your company’s growth really is worth a thousand words.

4. Simplified Headcount Planning

Your org chart software should empower you and your team to align and scale your business. That means choosing an interface that takes headcount planning seriously.

Look for software that enables you to visualize open roles and identify the impact your headcount has on overall budget. For example, can you analyze metrics based on data such as tenure and equity grants? This will be a huge win for your finance team, who will want a solution that can identify how planned headcount and promotions translate to cost in terms of base and variable compensation.

Choosing one with these capabilities ensures you’ll be able to discover new insights, make highly informed decisions, and use your resources and people appropriately.

Visualizing your data also allows you to analyze current and potential vacancies to drive recruitment strategies. The right org chart will allow you to see your teams and their skills so you can create a robust

succession plan. Instead of unexpectedly backfilling positions, you can plan confidently and identify any potential issues before it becomes too late.

ChartHop headcount planning tool

ChartHop's headcount planning module enables you to easily add new roles to your org chart and see the impact on overall budget in real time.

5. Visibility For All

When employees know how they fit into a company, both structurally and personally, they have the context they need to thrive.

Your org chart should serve as a directory that enables employee transparency and clarity. Look for software that connects your people – not just with lines on a screen, but with the insights that show who they are and how they enhance your organization.

This doesn’t mean you’re giving everyone access to proprietary information so they can take over the world. Instead, you’re providing company-wide transparency and

sharing specific data with tiered permissions. This will give everyone access to the data they need

to do their best work and make the decisions that will drive your business forward.

What does this look like at all levels?

  • For Executives: Executives can interpret data within cross-functional reports to gain quick insights, see what’s happening across the company, and access KPIs. All of these metrics can be used to plan and address goals.
  • For People Leaders: People leaders can use metrics, such as rates of engagement of DEIB trends, to identify areas that need immediate attention and prioritize action-items to make a company-wide impact.
  • For Managers: Middle management can use people data to engage their team, visualize and submit headcount plans, and optimize the overall employee experience.
  • For Individual Contributors: Employees can work faster with information – such as team structures, job descriptions, and peer bios – at their fingertips. This saves them time, helps them determine the right person to contact, and makes it easy to learn next steps to grow within the organization.

Specifically, when

Colin Bramm, CEO and co-founder of Showbie, was shopping for org chart software, he knew that visibility was key to alignment. Because his leadership team and board were both able to view data that was updated daily in one central location, everyone was on the same page to collaborate and confidently make decisions. Bramm says of his org chart, “Between the work it saved me, and the work it saved our leadership team, we probably saved over $10,000 in lost productivity – in just one planning process.”

Choosing the Right Org Chart

When your people data can do more, so can you. Ultimately, you want a solution that not only makes your life easier, but empowers you to drive real-time insights from your metrics. The right technology should also help teams collaborate seamlessly while using data to forecast effectively and iterate on planning structures. Ready to get shopping?

Need further guidance choosing your HR Tech Stack?

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