People have strong feelings about organizational charts in business. Some people love them, while other people hate them. Some small businesses dismiss them as unnecessary, while others use them as a tool for strategic growth.
Personally, I’m a fan of organizational charts for the same reason I’m a fan of dress codes in business. In the absence of structure, people will invent their own. And when people start inventing their own structure (or their own dress code), things can get complicated.
My advice to small businesses? Don’t be scared of an organizational chart.
I’ve worked with business owners who wanted an organizational chart that had everybody’s name on the same level, but that’s not how business functions. It’s not how people typically view themselves in a business environment, either.
People appreciate structure! It helps to know whom they report to and whom that person reports to. And if they’re having an issue with another department in your company, it helps to know who’s in charge so they can talk to the right person.
Ultimately, organizational charts are about communication, like many other things in business. Lack of communication causes serious issues in business, and the lack of an organizational structure can as well.
An organizational chart is also a strategic tool to support your company culture. Everybody wants a positive, supportive company culture that’s going to attract the best talent to come work for your company. But that company culture doesn’t happen on its own. It’s something you create as the business owner through the decisions you make and the policies you put in place. Without an organizational chart, you can end up with an entirely different subculture that can quickly get out of control.
It’s also a tool for strategic growth. When everything’s mapped out, you can see trouble spots as your business grows. You can identify or anticipate where in the company you might need more management support. You can clearly see the holes or gaps and strategically fill them over time to create a strong company.
Instead of being scared of an organizational chart, find a way to leverage it so employees can see the opportunity for personal growth and advancement. It’s a tool to help them be better at their job, not a tool to degrade someone based on where they are on the chart. It’s a tool that illustrates the different roles each person plays and the support structure in place. And it’s a tool that can help improve communication throughout the company.
That sounds like a pretty powerful tool, doesn’t it?
If you need help developing a strategic organizational chart for your business, contact Why HR today for more information about our consulting services.