An organizational chart template shows a company’s internal structure. An org chart template uses boxes and other shapes to represent the employees and their positions. Sometimes, these shapes include photos and other information like their email addresses, contact details, and more. Then elbowed or straight lines link these shapes together to show the relationships between the employees.

Organizational Chart Templates

Types of organizational charts

The format you use for your organizational chart template depends on the needs of your organization. For instance, if your organization is more formal, then you may want to go for a simple and elegant company organizational chart. But if you may also go for a fun, casual template if you prefer.

Before you create a sample organizational chart, you may first want to learn about the different types of org chart templates which are:

  • Hierarchical
    This type is the most commonly used in organizations. For this chart, one person or group is on top and the lower the positions of the employees are, the lower they appear on the chart. Usually, this chart appears in a pyramid shape.
    Picture a monarchy with a queen or king at the top but in this case, the person on top will be the President or CEO. With a hierarchical company organizational chart, the employees would communicate with the people they report to as well as anyone else who reports to them directly.
    In a vertical organization, the lines of communication and authority should be very clear. In the world of business, you would start with the chief executive who works down to the senior managers, directors, team leaders, and down to the team members.
    The advantages of this type of structure are stability and clarity. However, the potential disadvantage is its rigidity. This structure’s management layers might sometimes end up bloating the organization.
  • Matrix
    You can usually see this structure in organizations which have several managers. For instance, if an organization has a team of graphic artists who all report to a lead graphic artist. These graphic artists also work on other projects where they report to separate project managers. In such a case, the graphic artists would work with two managers.
    In such an organization, relationships between departments might become more cooperative and fruitful. But the downside of this is that when an employee reports to more than one manager or works with more than one department, this might create a conflict of interest or confusion in terms of loyalty.
  • Flat or Horizontal
    This type has minimal to no minimal management and it usually consists of just two levels. The administrators and the employees. In organizations like this, the employees have more responsibilities and they are more involved in the decision-making process.

In this structure, most of the management layers aren’t included this the administrators have closer relationships with the employees. Such a structure is common in small companies but it’s not recommended for bigger organizations. Here, employees have a stronger sense of autonomy and teamwork, but conflicts may become more pronounced among employees.

Company Organizational Charts

When do you need an organizational chart?

No matter which layout you want to use for your organizational chart template, these charts will help you layout the relationships between the employees in your organization. Downloading a free organizational chart and using it ensures that everyone in your organization knows how to properly communicate important information. You can use a sample organizational chart for:

  • Supervisory and organizational communication like enabling employees to know who they must report to or even helping employees get to know each other across the whole organization. For this purpose, it’s recommended to add photos in your org chart template so employees can connect the names to the faces.
  • Restructuring, like in the case of making changes in roles to utilize all the employees’ talents better.
  • Workforce planning like when creating the procedure for a new initiative for hiring.
  • Resource planning, like in the rearranging of roles to reduce inefficiencies.

How to make an organizational chart template?

Although it’s easier to download a free organizational chart, it’s also important to know how to make it on your own. An organizational chart template is a way for you to show the structure of your organization in a clear, visual way. This template shows the relationships between departments and employees.

When creating your sample organizational chart, you should first figure out the organization of your company along with the chain of command. Then, come up with an outline of this information on a piece of paper before creating the final company organizational chart. Here are some steps to guide you:

Come up with an outline

  • Take a look at how the decision-making process of your organization. Most organizations are either vertical or horizontal. A vertical structure means that the power is mainly hierarchical, while horizontal means that the power is more distributed among the employees.
  • Organize the employees by department. It doesn’t matter whether the divisions of the company is by locations, functions or products. Make a list of the biggest departments, then divide these into smaller departments. This makes it easier for you to make a list of all the employees without missing anyone out.
  • You also have the option of organizing your org chart template by employees. Use the names of the employees and then organize them by how they relate or connect with one another. With this method, you can draw lines between employees in any way you want.
  • Gather the required information for your sample organizational chart. If you’re creating a chart that’s employee-based, gather information like the employee names, their positions, and how they relate to one another. For a template that’s department-based gather the names of the departments and how these relate to one another.

Create your template’s design

  • Create a rough draft of your outline. Come up with a visual of the company’s structure, starting with the biggest parts which are the main departments. For an employee-based structure, start with the people in the highest positions and work your way down.
  • Decide on how much details you want to include in your template. For example, in a bigger organization, including each of the employees isn’t feasible. Even in a medium-sized organization, if you want to include all of the employees, you might not have space to include a lot of other details. This is why it’s important to decide on the details before creating the chart.
  • Choose a design for your chart. There are plenty of designs you can use. For instance, you can make it like a family tree with the President or CEO at the very top. Then create lines coming out of this shape where you place the people who hold the next-level positions. This particular design works well for hierarchical companies.

Create your chart

  • First, choose a word processing software to create your company organizational chart. One of the most common types of software used is Microsoft Office which is both user-friendly and readily available. This software also comes with ready-made templates to help you out.
  • Choose a style for your chart. Most word processing software allow you to choose from different styles. In Microsoft Office, you can choose the style under the “SmartArt” menu. Among all the different styles, the “Organizational Chart” style is the most common and it even comes with an assistant to help you out.
  • Insert the boxes you need for your employees. After adding all of the shapes, add the photos and other information which you’ve outlined on a separate piece of paper. Connect the shapes with each other to show how the employees relate with each other. You don’t have to include everyone or every department, as you can add more later.
  • Fill in the specific details of your company. Add the names and other information under the photos of the employees. Start with the employees at the very top of the pyramid and work your way down. If you’re going with a thought-bubble style chart, begin at the middle and work outward.
  • Add the design elements after filling in all of the information. For instance, you can change the colors of the shapes to differentiate the departments the employees are in. You can also change fonts to highlight information as long as the fonts are easy-to-read.

Organizational Chart Samples

Limitations of an organizational chart

Although an organizational chart is very useful, it does have some downsides too. For one, these charts can become outdated quickly, especially in companies with a lot of turnovers. Here are some other limitations of an organizational chart:

  • They only show formal relationships, not the social or informal relationships which are the ones which help get things done. If you want to show that formal relationships exist in your company, you may want to create an account map instead.
  • They don’t reflect the company’s management style. Although the chart shows the lines of authority, it doesn’t show how the people in authority work. If you want to show this information, you may want to create an organigraph instead.