Why It’s Time to Stop Building Your Org Charts in PowerPoint

Mar 24, 2022
Reading time: 16 min

Would you rather eat a soggy ice cream cone filled with mayonnaise or manually build an org chart in PowerPoint? It’s a tough call. That’s because tools like PowerPoint and Google Sheets lack a certain ease-of-use and sophistication needed to build something that’s scalable and accessible across a business. And can you imagine spending hours moving around boxes and making sure every little thing is visually aligned? That Hellmann’s jar isn’t looking so bad after all.

Luckily, there’s a third option: Using people analytics software to automatically build your company’s org chart. Gone are the days when you had to use your second, larger computer monitor (or squint until you’re dizzy) to create a visually-pleasing org chart. No more manually updating your PowerPoint slide every time there’s a new hire, departure, or title change. Now, with the click of a button, the right people operations platform creates the structure you need so you can focus on your people instead of spending time putting their faces in tiny boxes.

Still hesitant to jump ship? Check out the additional benefits below.

Don’t just take our word for it. Try our ChartHop Basic org chart for yourself, for free!


Less Manual Entry, More People Data

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but your org chart can be. That’s because people analytics software does the hard work for you. The right technology will populate your people data into a dynamic org chart that is easy to navigate and explore. And as your company evolves, you can easily add and change roles using the drag-and-drop interface. When you use people analytics software, you eliminate time-consuming processes, meaning less copying and pasting and more planning and analyzing.

What’s more, your org chart can sync with your payroll provider or, more specifically, your PEO or HRIS system, to automatically update any time there are changes to your org chart. You read that right – no need to go back and manually make those alterations.

Choosing a people operations platform also means that you’re putting your people first. You’re providing everyone access to a data-rich, automatically updated org chart. You’re creating alignment on headcount plans to help your organization hire efficiently, retain more talent, and scale effectively. And lastly, you’re automating the flow of your people and compensation data by integrating with various systems, which in turn helps you drive action towards your goals.

With its user-friendly features, ChartHop allows you to drag and drop boxes, create and edit jobs, and set up employee profiles.

The alternative to using a people operations platform is a horror story:

To manually create an org chart, you must collect employee data from disparate systems and spreadsheets, which can take hours of toggling through folders and tabs. Next comes individual data entry. Not only is this step tedious, it’s also prone to human-error and can result in typos and mistakes. And once you finally pat yourself on the back, thinking your org chart is complete, someone’s title changes or new roles are added. Your hard work is now outdated, leaving you to restart the entire process over again.

Remember, your title isn’t “Spreadsheet Filler-Outer.” Make sure your day-to-day reflects that.

That’s exactly the mindset shift Joe Taranto, HR Generalist & Project Manager at Rémy Cointreau, experienced when he realized he was spending four to five hours per week manually managing his company’s 200+ person org chart. He explains: “Managers would bring their plans into meetings with HR without full context into everything going on at the company. Then we’d try to make real-time changes in PowerPoint or even hand draw sensitive information to visualize proposed changes. It was just very time consuming and inefficient.”

Rémy Cointreau therefore switched to a solution that enabled leaders to visualize their company, keep pace with organizational changes, securely house data, and align their teams to one source of truth. The result? Taranto reclaimed time back into his day and, oh yeah, the company saved $450K in headcount spend.

Increased Visibility: Granting the Right People Access

Does it seem like you’re constantly juggling tasks, putting out daily fires, and making decisions without knowing the full story? That’s not a good feeling, nor is it a proactive way to lead.

While there’s numerous articles on how leaders can succeed under pressure, the problem is that most of the suggestions are theoretical, not tactical. Furthermore, many of these ideas – such as “ask for help” – require additional work, such as presenting data to teammates so they can take over the project.

Luckily, a people operations platform takes a lot of this daily burden off your shoulders so you can stop focusing on minute details and instead switch your attention to big-picture strategy. That’s because the right software not only automatically collects a variety of data sets, but also allows you to control who sees what. With tiered permissions, you can choose who views your people data, establishing company-wide confidentiality and ensuring that the right leaders can access specific metrics needed to do their best work.

No more behind-closed-door meetings, spending time crunching and presenting numbers, or accidentally emailing the wrong Sarah a report with sensitive information.

So what does tiered visibility look like? Below are examples of how employees at all levels can benefit from different degrees of access within your people operations platform:

  • Executives can discover key performance metrics, analyze company strengths and weaknesses, and measure and monitor employee performance.
  • People leaders can ensure employees are engaged, flag trends in people data to create action plans, and strengthen employee hiring and retention efforts.
  • Managers can engage their teams, visualize and propose headcount plans, and conduct performance reviews.
  • Individual contributors can work smarter, not harder, by knowing who is who in the company.

Making Decisions Based on Metrics

Ever present a proposal based on a gut-reaction instead of data? It doesn’t go well. The same goes for offering solutions with limited supporting data. When you’re missing a large piece of that metric puzzle, you’re inadvertently doing your people and company a disservice.

But when you have people analytics software that integrates with your existing tech stack, you and your team will be able to analyze rich datasets like people demographics, tenure, payroll, performance reviews, and compensation bands. You’ll not only have access to this detailed data, but will also be able to discover any intersectionalities that highlight strengths, expose weaknesses, and influence goal setting.

Shelby Wolpa, Former VP of People Operations for Invision, reports that her company’s old way of doing things – having compensation data in their HRS and then equity data in their equity management platform – wasn’t working. She shares, “The only way we could bring those two compensation components together was with a manual spreadsheet and resources on my team reporting and auditing on that data.” Investing in people analytics software saved hours of time for Wolpa and her team and enabled them to take action on insights they weren’t able to visualize before.

Look at your data performance throughout your organization

Leaders can pull metrics from various sources to notice any intersectionalities to be addressed in the future.

More Connectivity and Engagement

A dynamic people operations platform also connects your people – no matter where they’re located – to help everyone feel more informed and empowered.

Simply put, your org chart serves as a directory that enables clarity and employee transparency. But if it’s clunky, out of date, and only provides surface-level information, it’s not giving employees the knowledge they need to thrive.

What’s more, org charts created in PowerPoint, Excel, and other manual tools aren’t necessarily easily accessible by everyone in an organization. This is because:

  • They’re static. Aside from clicking through slides or scrolling through a PDF, traditional org chart templates don’t provide employees with much interaction or engagement. They are usually flat and fixed, only displaying names, titles, and departments. With a dynamic solution, employees can click into colleagues’ profiles to learn more about them, including where they sit in the organization, preferred contact methods, and fun facts.
  • They’re unreliable. Without automatic data syncs, your org chart is only as reliable as its last edit. That means your employees can’t use it as a source of truth for your company’s people data.
  • They’re hard to find. Do you know who’s going to page through their inbox to find the latest company org chart? No one. When your org chart isn’t easily accessible, the hard truth is that it’s not going to be used as often as you like. And if your people don’t have immediate access to your employee directory, you may see lagging timelines or KPIs as a result of missed collaboration opportunities.

Alternatively, a dynamic org chart promotes engagement among your people. When employees can easily access your company directory and find information quickly, they’ll be more efficient at their jobs, feel a stronger sense of belonging when connecting with others’ profiles, and find value in the transparency of your organization.

As a leader, it’s your job to ensure your people have all the information they need to meet their goals. By granting employees access to different datasets, you’re empowering them to do their best work in a timely manner.

People Operations Platform > Manual PowerPoint Templates

Let’s be real: Using PowerPoint and other manual org chart options is time-consuming and tiring. Instead of typing in data and toggling through spreadsheets, you could be driving business results by analyzing insights and planning for your current and future workforce. And what’s more, all that time spent manually entering in data only leads to the creation of an org chart that is inaccessible, static, and quickly out-of-date.

By switching to a people operations platform, you’ll not only save yourself time, but leverage previously untapped data sources that will improve your company insights and initiatives. Employees will also feel more connected and supported as they work.

It’s time to be the hero and invest in your people. Are you ready?

Interested in what other technology solutions you need? Read our Ultimate HR Tech Buyer’s Guide.

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