Why Companies Should Have a Public Org Chart
8 min read
Great companies are built on great foundations, and the most essential foundations for any company are its people.
In this guide, we’ll explain how a public org chart will improve every part of your work life and your company’s functioning by putting those people front-and-center.
The Basics of an Org Chart
At its core, an org chart is a diagram showing the structure of roles and responsibilities within an organization. For a look into exactly how org charts work, see here:
Ok sure, org charts can be useful tools for hiring managers and planning. But why do you need one? There are several key reasons, all of which center around information and communication. Org charts are a tool, among many others, for getting a group of people on the same page. Having a “source of truth” for your company’s structure can help everyone know what everyone else does and reduce all kinds of frictions that might appear in day-to-day collaboration. Some core benefits are:
- Transparency: explained in detail below in Why Transparency Matters
- Faster Onboarding: an org chart helps new employees to see their own place on the team and meet colleagues faster and more seamlessly
- Managing Workloads: org charts help leaders assess the overall size and shape of the company against its growing business needs
- Work Context: org charts give each individual a better understanding of how their work contributes to the whole, and helps managers to understand their domain
- Workplace Relationships: org charts can be a tool for making connections, and the better employees know each other, the better they can work together
For a detailed analysis of these benefits and how to achieve them in practice, see our guide to the “why” of org charts:
Org charts have clear value, but what’s different about The Org? For one, we’re free. But more importantly, we see the org chart a little differently than everyone else. The traditional thinking is that org charts are a static piece of paper, to be used only for internal planning and management purposes. We want to turn that concept on its head, making org charts a collaborative tool for sharing successes with the world and attracting new talent. It all centers around “transparency,” the principle that businesses have more to gain from open sharing than from jealous secrecy.
Why Transparency Matters
The Org differs from existing professional communities because we’re not only built around the individual. We’re also built around organizations and teams. Our public org chart platform is a paradigm shift for businesses. It takes the efforts of the collective and uses it to build the world’s largest professional community. This network highlights the teams, cultures, skills, and focus areas of the companies changing the world.
In the past, individuals thought of their resume as a totally private document, to be kept close to the chest and hidden from the world except when absolutely necessary. LinkedIn turned that concept on its head by making resumes a dynamic and open platform, with every individual sharing the best of themselves with the professional world.
The Org does the same thing for company org charts, transforming them from a static and private piece of paper to a dynamic, shareable, public platform. By making org charts public, companies have the opportunity to connect internal and external stakeholders, to use their existing talent to attract new talent, and to improve communication and coordination.
Transparency means running organizations which align their interests with those of its stakeholders, customers, and the world. It’s not a buzzword. It’s not about openly spilling company secrets. It’s about providing context and growing trust that is rewarded by loyalty.
A transparent organizational structure increases organizational effectiveness. They’re built around the right incentives, easy access to information, and facilitating coordination. Everyone should have a public org chart, because what you make is determined by how you are structured.
Transparent companies engage with public input. They encourage participation and interact with feedback from customers. They value their users and community as part of the building process.
Transparency isn’t only a virtue - it’s a competitive advantage. Remote work is here to stay, and like any societal shift, this presents massive opportunity to those who are prepared. Transparency sets up an organization’s ever changing environment for success, even when your teams are dispersed across the globe.
But what does transparency mean in the real world, and what concrete steps can make your company more transparent, beyond just getting a public org chart on The Org? We’ve outlined a path to making any company more transparent right here:
Transparency isn’t just a management term, it can reverberate throughout the choices you make as an organization, including the tools you use for work. We’ve run down the best software for transparent companies right here:
With a public org chart everyone knows where they stand, who to talk to, and how to make the gears turn. Public org charts also clear up bottlenecks and informational gaps with shared learning. Less time is wasted on uncertainty and confusion. Clear communication, innovation and growth take its place.
Here’s why you should join your companies public org chart, if you aren’t in it already:
These days, nothing matters more to successful investors than the people they are investing in. Startups change drastically from creation to success - ideas change, markets change, products change. The core factor which drives those changes are the founding team that steers a company along its path.
For that reason, investors massively prioritize the talent behind any new company that comes to them for investment, and actively seek out companies on the basis of the people behind them. That means that transparency and a public org chart can get a startup in front of more eyes and give you increased and better chances at getting funded.
Top players in every field make calculated, informed decisions before joining any team. A public org chart lets these applicants learn deeply about a secret advantage: your people. Great talent attracts great talent.
Want more tips on accelerating your hiring process? Take a look at our extensive guide to hiring:
Work has been transforming even since before the Coronavirus Pandemic reshaped our world. People increasingly work from anywhere and everywhere, relying on teleconferencing and remote collaboration tools to do their best work from wherever they are.
Remote work is a massive opportunity, but it is also a colossal challenge. Keeping remote teams on the same page and feeling like part of a collective whole is even harder than doing so for real-world teams. Workers often feel alienated and separated from their teammates and company environments. A public org chart can help them to understand the role they play on the team and who to reach out to for help, as well as improving communication company-wide.
Here are our tips on managing workers in this new world of remote work:
Keeping people unified and communicating from across the globe also requires new tools and new strategies for management. Here’s our guide to improving communication in your workplace:
One easily overlooked but essential part of every great company is a great culture. Culture is a hard to define and hard to quantify part of team building. It emerges organically from the behavior of a collective, and shaping it in a positive direction requires deliberate effort and forethought. A public org chart can aid in this process by forcing managers to confront the ways their teams are structured and what hierarchies they are creating, intentionally or unintentionally. The transparency that public org charts bring require deep thinking about structure and equity, and drive a process of self-betterment and collaboration that foster all the essential elements of a good culture.