What are org charts?
The organizational chart is the detailed graphical representation of the mode of operation, based on the resources available to the company and on the vertical or horizontal subordination relations between the different entities that compose it. Entities can be compartments and individual positions, but HR must prepare a job description for each post. Organizational chart are often reffered as org charts or organigrams.
The organization chart reflects its organization, as its manager or founder conceived it, but it is not a document that remains unchanged. Depending on the needs and changes along the way, this may change.
The company manager will outline the organizational chart with the director of human resources and heads of departments. Then the HR department is tasked with bringing it to the attention of employees and implementing it.
This graphic scheme should take into account the business strategy and the human capital available to the company.
Organization chart models
Moreover, given the variety of existing types of companies, the organization chart must accurately reflect the structure and type of your company. Therefore, we provide you with several organizational chart types, as follows.
Vertical Organization Chart (Hierarchical) Template
Hierarchical organization chart is of the type of pyramid in which the person in charge has the highest level of authority and has subordinates divided into departments.
When building such an org chart structure, you start with the CEO/President at the top, then the executive team, and then the reporting lines. It is straightforward to understand who manages who, what the roles are, and how the hierarchy branches into teams or departments.
The benefits of vertically structured organizations are clear reporting lines, quick decision-making, better delegation, limited ambiguity, and increased efficiency. We can also mention that there are more promotion opportunities and tighter control.
As a disadvantage, we could highlight some drawbacks of hierarchal structures for managers: slower decisions making, increased bureaucracy, limited flexibility, and longer times to get things done.
Governments and large corporations are usually structured hierarchically. A large company that uses a vertical org chart is Amazon.
If you are looking for a template for an organizational chart, we believe this template is a great place to start. Please customize the structure according to your company, and make the most out of it.
This is probably the easiest or simplest org chart you can find and is ideal for small companies/business.
Download the Vertical organization chart tempate
Horizontal Org Chart Template
The horizontal organization chart model - has a lateral structure, there are not too many middle-management positions, so it generates a sense of independence for employees.
Download the Horizontal organization chart tempate
Flat Org Chart Template
The benefits of a horizontal org structure include transparency, low to no bureaucracy, improved communications, effective collaboration, better decision-making, and clarity across the organization.
The video game company Valve is an excellent example of an organization with a flat org structure.
Download the Flat organization chart tempate
Tip: If you want to know what are the most common types of organizational structures, check our in depth guide, so that you make the right decision when building yours.
Divisional Org Chart Template
The divisional structure is one of the most common org structures for business. This type of org structure groups employees based on product, service, customer, or geographic location.
Let's see what are the advantages of using this org structure within your organization:
- Flexibility in responding to changes in market conditions
- Improved coordination within each division
- Encourages innovation within each division.
Download the Divisional organization chart tempate
Matrix Organization Chart Template
The matrix flowchart model is a hybrid between the vertical and horizontal org charts. It does not focus on levels of authority and hierarchy but communication and relationships. It is used in companies that carry out large projects, where employees from all departments work together for that project.
A popular American sportswear company Nike is using a matrix org chart.
Download the word model for the company's organization chart and modify it according to its departments, hierarchy, and structure.
Download the Matrix organization chart tempate
Matrix Org Chart Template 2
We have created a new matrix org chart that combines functional and divisional structures better. In this way, setting across different departments and projects will be more efficient, boost into-departmental collaboration, and gain extra flexibility. Note that such org structure has disadvantages, such as creating confusion about roles and responsibilities and increasing conflicts and overlapping work between departments.
Download the Matrix org chart tempate
Team-Based Organization Chart Template
A team-based organization chart is a visual representation of an organization's structure that emphasizes teams and collaboration over traditional hierarchies. In a team-based organization, individuals are grouped together based on shared team goals and responsibilities, and they work together to achieve those goals. Each team has its own leader who is responsible for guiding the team towards success, but overall, the focus is on empowering teams to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This approach can lead to increased productivity, better communication, and a more engaged workforce, as team members feel a sense of ownership and accountability for their work.
As an example, when looking for Software as a Service companies, you most commonly have 5 teams in their org chart: Technology, Product, Sales, Marketing, abd Finance.
Download the Team-based organization chart tempate
Project Organization Chart Template
The free project organizational chart template showcases how it is used to distribute authority and responsibility within a project team.
Within this word template, we outline the project team members assigned to work on a particular project. It shows how individual project team members will interrelate with one another throughout the project lifecycle. By having such a project org chart, you clarify the collaborative links in a easy way, as they are very visual.
Keep in mind that this org chart is suitable for a small project. However, you can customize it according to your needs and industry. Additionally, the size and complexity of the project determine how simple or complex the organizational chart is.
Download the project organization chart template
Excel Org Chart Template
Look no further if you want an org chart that can be edited directly within Excel. This Excel org chart template provides the following versions that you can choose according to your needs:
- Basic SmartArt - where you can see the reporting relationships within the organization.
- SmartArt with images - where you can add an image to every employee in the organization.
- Layered - without smart art. For every employee, there is a cell, and with formatting, the hierarchical lines are created.
- Sub-layered - where each manager has direct reports, and there are reporting lines between.
Download the Excel organization chart template
Dynamic company organization chart in tabular format
With LeaveBoard, once you embark your employees, you will have the essential elements of a flowchart organized in a simple, clear, and structured way in an Excel spreadsheet format. This table is constantly updated with the latest updates in your organization - changing roles. New teams/departments/locations created, different approval flows new hires or terminations.
We are aware that there are other types of organizational structures: Network structure, Divisional structure by geography or product line, Team based structure, or Functional org structures. LeaveBoard can handle all of them providing an overview of the human resources in your organization, allowing it to grow, evolve and change without any difficulty.
How are org charts used?
Depending on the state of your business, you can use the org chart in multiple ways.
- Structure the management hierarchy
By using an org chart, you will have access to the perspective of your organization's composition and the relationship between various employees. This also helps understand how the overall business is structured and how each employee fits within the organization.
- Workforce planning
The organization chart helps identify where you need to focus your efforts in hiring to have a more balanced organization. Some departments might have more human resources, and others could be lacking human capital.
- Company/department restructuration
From time to time, some employees don’t feel like they are giving their most value in their role. You might consider switching to a different team or department to eliminate such inefficiencies, and the org chart helps with this. And when you want to close a business area, you know which people will be impacted.
- Management reference tool
When you need to find more details about a particular employee, whom he is reporting to, who are his direct reports, and what is his role. When you know who is responsible for whom, it’s also easier to manage larger companies. In this way, you will improve the lines of communication and get everyone aligned.
- An employee directory
Our favorite use case is this one when you can see go deeper on the employee data. More specifically, you can find their phone number, email address, work schedule, team, and much more for any team member.
The choice of tool to design the organigram
Several computer tools are at your disposal to facilitate the design of this graphic document.
The most widely used medium remains the Microsoft Office suite, which has the advantages:
- It is available widely (Word, PowerPoint and Excel, leading software in the professional world),
- easy to use since it gives access to pre-existing diagrams (called "SmartArt") that you will only have to fill in with your internal information (job titles, names of the corresponding employees, photographs to facilitate reading and make the livelier document),
- it is also a very effective tool that offers varied, clear, and easily interpretable diagrams.
The drawback is that you must update it manually every time someone leaves or joins the company. Therefore, we recommend software that streamlines the org chart creation and update.
Tips regarding the design of your business org chart
To make it easier to read and understand, the org chart should be clear and readable at first glance, so do not overload it with information.
The larger the structure, the less detailed the organization chart will be to limit the difficulty of reading and the risk of loss of meaning.
Also, in the case of a large company, a global view is useful. Still, it may be necessary also to design one for each of the departments making up the structure to facilitate understanding and readability. Therefore, we believe tabular org charts are easier to comprehend no matter how big your organization is.
Don’t forget to update your org chart regularly. You can reflect on the new roles you plan to add to your business or team, who you might get promoted, or who should leave due to poor performance. Keep in mind that if you have an up-to-date org chart, your workforce will always know whom they report to and where they fit in the overall structure.
Color codes: To differentiate teams/departments/geographies, you might use different color codes: i.e., red for sales, green for marketing, and blue for production. For open roles, you might also use different border types, such as dotted lines. Be creative; however, don’t forget to have a legend somewhere explaining the codes.
Org chart templates FAQ
How to make an org chart in Microsoft Word?
Word is an excellent tool for creating an org chart for your business. Within Microsoft Word, the SmartArt function is what you need. Here are the steps to do so:
- Open a new document within MS Word.
- Click Insert, then from SmartArt, select Hierarchy, the Horizontal Org chart, or Vertical Org chart.
- Edit accordingly with the names of your employees and their roles.
- Save the document in doc format and eventually as PDF to be shared company-wide.
Tip: Within Microsoft Excel, you can insert SmartArt diagrams to create Org charts.
How to create an Org Chart in Google?
Google offers a great alternative to creating a free and easy org chart. Here are the steps to follow:
- Open Google sheets
- Create a new sheet
- In Column 1, list your employees
- In Column 2, list the reporting lines
- Click insert > Chart > Organizational chart
Tip: If you want to bring the org chart to Google docs, then open a new Google Doc, then click Insert > Chart > From Sheets > Select the sheet where you have your org chart, and then you’re ready to go.