an organizational chart shown in an imaginary shot of a person's hand on touchscreen from behind the screen

Tips for Creating Clear and Effective Organizational Charts

Featured image by Miha Creative

Organizational charts are a dynamic way to show the hierarchy of a business. They can provide an instant overview of the entire structure. And while people don’t often question how useful they can be, it’s not always apparent how to create one that is clear and effective. Without clarity and effectiveness, the organizational chart won’t be able to fulfill its purpose.


Here we take a look at some tips for creating clear and effective organizational charts that you can use in your business.

What Is the Goal of an Organizational Chart?

The first step is to figure out what the organizational chart will show. Keep your audience in mind as you may need several organizational charts for each department or level in the company. Managers can use these types of charts at the team level, department level, or even company-wide.

An organizational chart can map out the chain of command, as well as illustrate centralization and the span of control. This information is imperative for new hires. However, it is also important information for existing employees.

Focus on the Big Picture

Another tip is to focus on the big picture rather than the small details in your organizational chart. While it may be tempting to add in-depth information, that’s not the purpose of an organizational chart. This is because its purpose is to act as a concise and helpful visual that employees and co-workers can refer to. Loading it up with details will only take away from its effectiveness.

There’s also the fact that, ideally, the chart should fit on one page. This way, if you decide to print it, it won’t lose its effectiveness. If you’ve filled it with small details, the likelihood of its fitting on one page is slim. Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a way to enhance collaboration between departments and teams that is also cost-effective, an organizational chart can be the answer.


Make Use of Templates for Organizational Charts

Speaking of layouts, depending on the software or tools you’re using as the organizational chart maker, there may be templates available. These take all the guesswork out of the layout, and all you will need to do is fill in the information. This is a great way to ensure that the chart delivers the messaging you want.

Consider an Organizational Chart a Living Document

Your organizational chart may seem unquestionably perfect after you create it. However, it may not stay that way. There may come a point where you need to edit, add, or delete content. This is why a living document makes sense.

Picture someone higher up in the hierarchy leaving the company, and then a new hire is brought in. Then you will need to update the organizational chart to reflect this important change. However, not only can you make those edits, but you can even co-create a chart with other employees who can also make edits.

Organizational charts can be quite easy to create once you’ve figured out the goal and structure. But thanks to these tips, you’ll also be able to sidestep some of the most common pitfalls.

For more great ideas that will help you run your business more successfully, be sure to browse our blog often.