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Does Your Org Chart Need to Be Updated?
Your org chart is a living document that needs to be kept as current as possible. Learn more about how and when it needs to be updated.
Credit: Unsplash.com
By Clayton Spangle
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6 minute read

An organizational chart is a diagram showing how the departments, teams, and employees of a company all fit together. You can think of it as a family tree for a business.

One of the many benefits of having an org chart is that it helps you spot problems in your current structure and optimize for greater efficiency. After all, remaining stagnant is a death sentence for any business. So is it time for you to reorganize your company and update your org chart?

Signs Your Company’s Structure Isn’t Working

When was the last time you revisited your company’s objectives—and the strategy you have in place to reach them? Ensuring that your company is using its resources and personnel as efficiently as possible is key to achieving long-term growth. And as your business and industry change, fine-tuning your approach only becomes more important.

Some signs that your current structure isn’t working include:

  • You can’t seem to keep up with the ever-evolving business landscape
  • Your competitors are outperforming you
  • The skillsets of your employees aren’t matched to their roles
  • Productivity is lower than it should be
  • There’s too much wasteful spending in your budget
  • Your employees are overworked or underutilized
  • You’re hearing a lot of complaints from your staff
  • Your employee turnover rate is high
  • Teams that ought to be closely aligned aren’t collaborating or cooperating

Any of these problems could spell doom for a company. If you’re noticing the symptoms of poor organizational structure, it’s time to reassess your approach. That can mean altering your structure, reorganizing your current employees, or hiring better talent.

But how should you go about optimizing your company’s structure?

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How to Update Your Org Chart

1. Start With a Plan

The first step to updating your org chart is to decide what you’re trying to do and how you want to do it. Work with the leadership team to establish a clear direction for your company. Then, think about what kind of people you need to reach your goals. Does that represent your current staff?

And just as importantly, ask yourself:

Are you using your staff in the most efficient ways possible? Is your current reporting structure creating any unnecessary challenges? What kind of structure does your organization need to increase the chances of reaching your goals?

Your chart will give you a bird’s-eye view of the operational framework of your company. Use it to answer these questions and plan a strategy that will align your structure with your goals. This may mean some minor tweaking or a complete overhaul. Either way, your org chart will be your roadmap to success.

2. Get Creative

A traditional hierarchy still makes sense for some businesses. But in the modern world, many companies are taking advantage of alternate structures for their organizations. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If the traditional way of doing things doesn’t work for your company, toss it out and try something else.

For example, smaller, more agile teams may find it easier to adapt to changing trends. You might want to consider scaling the sizes of your teams down to increase your competitive edge. (This is especially common for tech startups.)

The possibilities are limitless, so don’t feel like you have to do things the way they’ve always been done.

3. Draft Your Ideal Blank-Sheet Org Chart

Next, try to start with a fresh mind. Don’t think about any current roles at your company or who you already have in your staff. Set up a new org chart and design the ideal structure for your company. If you were starting from scratch and hiring everyone new, how would you organize your company?

Then, factor what you’ve created into the actual design for your company. It may look similar to what you already have, or it may be wildly different. Either way, focus on what’s best for the company above all else.

4. Clearly Define the Specific Roles

When you’re defining the roles for your ideal org chart, be as specific as possible. Articulate in detail what you’re looking for and the kind of person who could do it. Put together a thorough job description for each. If you could get the perfect candidate for this position, what would their resume look like?

Once you have a clear picture of the perfect org chart and staff for your company, you have an actionable goal to aim for.

5. Bring Your Vision to Life

Now that you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you can get to work making it happen. If your current structure has any room for improvement (and it almost certainly does), it’s time for adjustments.

Chances are, you’ll have:

  • Existing staff who fit well with your new structure
  • Existing staff who don’t
  • Empty boxes without an obvious staff member to fill that role

Whenever you have existing staff that do fit well—whether in their current position or a new one—retain them. The last thing you want is to take anyone’s job.

But in situations where someone isn’t suited for helping your organization reach its objectives, be prepared to let them go. Just remember: loyal, hard-working employees are a gift. If possible, try to find a place for them in your revised system.

Then, launch hiring initiatives to fill any empty boxes in your org chart with the best candidates available.

And above all else, make sure to communicate your changes to everyone, from top to bottom. A sudden transition can leave staff confused and promote inefficiencies. In order to keep the reorganization process smooth, the whole team needs to know what’s going on and how they can help. That way, you can minimize the damage to productivity and morale.

The more you keep everyone in the loop, the better.

And that’s how you update your org chart and optimize your company’s structure! If you’re ready to start your journey toward building a better company, click here to set up your org chart today.

Add your company to The Org, for free.

Get in front of millions of visitors and job seekers.

  • Showcase your company culture to a vast community of professionals
  • Host your team on a free org chart to keep employees aligned
  • Post jobs on our free job platform for high growth startups

Learn more

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