The role of organisation charts

The purpose of an organisation chart is to show what the relationship of one job is to another. It is also shows the hierarchy – the ranks of job positions – within the organisation.

Over the years, the organisation chart has evolved from being purely an HR tool to being a management tool which helps companies have a high level overview of the business and proactively identify workforce issues.

The organisation chart has also evolved into something more dynamic and not just a static document with boxes and lines. Software has enabled this and charts can now be interactive. Whereas before charts were updated by the HR person once there is. New recruit or a position no longer exists, updates of such charts are now being done real-time. This is thanks to such software.

The chart has evolved into a tool that helps organisations build a long-term workforce strategy.

  •  An organisation chart demonstrates clear reporting structures. The organisation chart itself can guide employees understand how their role fits into the entire organisation. Employees will clearly know who they are to report to. Managers will clearly know who they are to be delegating responsibilities and tasks to.
  • The chart can give a quick overview (from a single page) of all positions within the organisation. This can come very useful for HR exercises such as performance reviews, recruitment or promotions.
  • It also helps us understand our workforce needs. It gives an overview of current and future needs and helps us visualize and proactively plan. It can also help identify skills gaps or if there is a lack of experience in a particular department.

An organisation chart can therefore help organisations take a more targeted approach to managing the workforce.

About the author

Maria Bartolo Zahra is Managing Director and HR Advisor at SurgeAdvisory. She has over fifteen years of human resources and business advisory experience.