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Organisational Charts FAQs

In our Steegle Guide, we collect questions you might have when planning how your organisation gathers its employee knowledge in its organizational charts.

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What do organizational charts look like?

Generally, an orgisazation chart (more commonly abbreviated to org charts, organigram or oragnogram) looks like a pyramid that represents the hierarchical order of the organization. C-level executives are placed on top, the management is in the middle, and staff-level employees are at the bottom.

However, your org chart doesn’t have to look this way. Once you determine your needs as an organization, you will be able to choose the perfect structure to meet your expectations and needs.

How to structure org charts?

Org charts are structured in various ways depending on their purpose. It should be structured according to your company’s needs and features. You should understand the company’s internal structure to determine which type of organizational structure should be used.

Here are the key elements to be considered:


  • Span of control

Determines how many staff each manager is responsible for. The size of the company can affect the span of control.

  • Chain of command


This is the official authority hierarchy to determine who is in charge of who and helps eliminate inefficiencies.

  • Centralization and Decentralization

Centralization means the decision making focuses on a single point in the organization. Usually, the upper management makes all decisions. While decentralization means employee input is considered so they can quickly solve problems.

  • Work Specialization

work specialization is where activities in an organization are divided into separate jobs.

  • Formalization

Formalization refers to standardized jobs within the organization.

  • Departmentalization

Departmentalization means jobs are divided or grouped in different ways according to function, geography, product, or process.

What are the benefits of an org chart?

A company’s organizational chart is a multipurpose tool that mostly benefits the managers, external stakeholders, HR, and staff.


Advantages for HR

  • Allows them to easily compare the company’s structure to others in the same sector

  • Helps in determining the total numbers of full-time equivalent and direct reports staff members that are reporting to each manager

Advantages for Managers


  • Helps determine where to eliminate efficiency

  • Evaluate departmental resources and determine if there’s a need for additional resources


Advantages for Staff and External Stakeholders

  • To help determine the relationship between various departments and functions

  • Identify reporting structures in the company

  • Help understand how the company is constructed

What are the most common types of org chart structures?

  1. Hierarchical org structure

The hierarchical org structure is pyramid-shaped and the most common type of org structure. The C-level or managers is on top while entry-level employees are below the chart. Each employee has a supervisor on top of them.

3. Horizontal or flat org structure

Start-up companies usually use this type of org structure. The structure has fewer departments and encourages more involvement from the employees and less supervision.

5. Matrix org structure

This structure looks like a grid and shows cross-functional teams. This encourages employees to use their skills in different capacities aside from their assigned roles.

7. Bottom-Up org structure

Instead of the traditional organizational chart structure, the leader or CEO in an organization would be at the bottom, while entry-level employees would be on top.

2. Functional org structure

This is similar to the hierarchical org structure, but the main difference is the employees are grouped according to their skills and function. Separate departments are managed independently.

4. Divisional org structures

This structure is perfect for large companies. Employees are divided into different teams such as sales team, IT team, or marketing team.

6. Team-based org structure

Employees are grouped into teams to help employees focus on problem solving and cooperation. This also gives employees an opportunity to take control.

8. Left-to-Right Org Structure

Some companies flip their organizational chart on its side to avoid the top-down feel of their company's org chart.

What employee information should be visible on the org chart?

For active employees in an organization, the following information is visible:

Must-haves

  • Name

  • Job Title

Moderns must-haves

  • Employee profile picture

Optional

  • Location

  • Contact numbers

  • Email address

How do you keep an organisation chart up-to-date?

Most modern org chart software is cloud-based and every edit or revision done is automatically saved in real-time to ensure that you have the latest version published. Some software would allow managers and employees to access the org chart and easily make some changes.

What software can you use to build your org charts?

Typical packaged are

  • Desktop publishing software like Adobe Indesign

  • Office productivity e.g. Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Visio

  • Google Slides and Google Drawings

  • Specialist Organigram software

  • Online software like Pingboard

How to insert an org chart in Google Docs?

When inserting or creating an org chart in Google Docs, you need to start from scratch as there are no built-in org chart templates or examples in Google Docs.

Go to Google Docs them click Insert > Drawing > +New

The drawing window will appear and you can use the shapes and connectors to create a simple org chart.

Creating an org chart in Google Docs can be challenging especially for large companies. You have to manually add shapes and lines which can be time-consuming.

Here is an example of a basic org chart made in Google Docs.

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