More than just a diagram, 4 powerful org chart software functions

Google “org chart” or "organizational chart." You’ll come up with dozens of articles with conflicting ideas about how important they are or instead that they’re a dying business trend.

Traditionally, an org chart shows a company's chain of command. While it's certainly useful to visualize company structure, it’s not so groundbreaking that you would spend extra money on an expensive software. You could just leverage Microsoft tools that you're already paying for, such as PowerPoint or Visio. 

But what if I told you that org chart software is more than just a hierarchical tool? That it had more concrete benefits akin to a people planning tool or work design hub? 

Org chart software has grown past its traditional function to become one of the most innovative tools for human resources teams. Read on below to see why. 


Organizational team meeting

1. Centralizes your people data

Your people data is fragmented across multiple different applications and software solutions. Unfortunately, not all of these apps talk to each other. 

As a result, you have to click through all of your software tools to find the information you need. According to a survey by harmon.ie, 67% of employees believe it would be easier to focus on work if their apps appeared in a single window.


Organizational chart example

Org charts integrate all of your solutions, from employee engagement to payroll/benefits to learning management systems, to host all your people data. Using simple search functions and impressive visuals, you can find everything you need to know in a single tool.

2. Educates new hires

Your new employee is ecstatic to join the team. However, they’re a bit overwhelmed about the size of the company. Who is their functional manager? What's the reporting relationship that connects them across different departments? 

Understanding your organization is an integral part of the employee onboarding process, and onboarding is an indicator of employee engagement. In fact, research by Urban Bound uncovered that 69% of employees are more likely to stay for more than three years if they experience great onboarding. 

Org chart software simplifies this aspect of onboarding through interactive visualization of the whole company. Your new Marketing Associate can zoom into their new department to find their team and zoom out to see where that team fits into the overall hierarchy. No more guessing games. They know who they report to and how their work affects the company. 

Although, some vendors such as Pingboard actually do feature guessing games to learn more about coworkers. It's little extras like this that make org chart software unique in enhancing employee engagement. 

3. Increases retention

Gallup discovered that only one in three US workers feel recognized for their work in any given week. On top of that, employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit than their coworkers. Employee recognition is directly related to retention. Seeing as turnover can be expensive, you want to hold onto your employees. 

Org chart software vendors offer employee recognition features to make employees feel appreciated and engaged, such as:

  • Acknowledging birthdays, work anniversaries, and other milestones. 
  • Connecting employees based on hobbies and interests. 
  • Creating custom employee profiles to give a holistic view of coworkers. 

By allowing employees to express themselves and recognize others for their work, you’re building positive company culture. And when over one third of workers say they’d pass on their ideal job position because they felt the culture wasn’t great, that becomes a big deal. 

4. Heightens communication

Strategic planning is essential for your business. Yet the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 61% of senior executives realize their companies aren’t successfully connecting strategy formulation to day-to-day implementation. What’s the cause of this discrepancy?

Lack of open communication. There's not always an easy way for new hires to connect with project managers, or project managers to stakeholders. 

A concrete example from a study by MassMutual found that of the 64% of businesses that have a succession plan in place, only 25% of those selected to be successors have any idea that they are up for the promotion. Why do all this planning only to leave successors in the dark? In the meantime, they could be searching for their career move at other companies or transitioning to other industries. 


Organizational chart planning

Org chart software bridges that gap. Your company can be much more transparent by using in-depth people planning tools and collaboration features, all of which can be visualized through the organization chart. Vendors such as ChartHop even have specific dashboards to track diversity and inclusion metrics so trends can be communicated from stakeholders to new team members without sharing sensitive individual information. 

I’m convinced, what do I do next?

As the role of HR grows, so too does the role of technology. Org chart software is changing alongside people management, but remains a powerful tool for workforce planning, decision making, and employee engagement. 

If these benefits align with your organization’s needs, check out our org chart software landscape. In addition to more benefits, you’ll find the best vendors, pricing information, pitfalls and use cases. Goodbye to the days of simple organizational structure; hello to the future of functional people planning!

This post originally appeared on SelectSoftware's blog where we write about the latest in HRTech.

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