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Here’s What to Look for When Investing in Org Chart Software for Your Company

Articles, Org Chart

In today’s hyper speed economy where rapidly changing workforce dynamics are now the norm, org chart software that allows business leaders to visualize, understand, and direct their entire organization is quickly moving from a “nice to have” item to a required tool they need to create and maintain a competitive edge.

However, not all org chart platforms are built the same. 

Choosing the right org chart software can dramatically increase your organization’s transparency, improve efficiencies, and help you make better decisions. Choosing the wrong one can leave you feeling stuck, with limited access to the data you need to better operate and scale your business into the future.

Making this decision starts with reviewing multiple factors before investing in a new platform. These include evaluating each platform’s features, strengths, and benefits, as well as the organizational fit and investment required. These variables can make it difficult to sift through and decipher which option will deliver the best results for your organization.

Once the decision is made, your company will then be investing time, money, and manpower integrating that choice into the operational and cultural fabric of the company.

Then, after you’ve decided which platform to entrust with your company, there will still be questions: Will it be well-received? Will it be easy to use and universally adopted? Will it integrate with the platforms we already use in the way we want? 

Essentially, will it do what we need it to do, how we want to do it, when we need it to be done? And, ultimately, will this make us more efficient, successful, and profitable?

Luckily, when it comes to choosing the perfect org chart software platform for your business, hitting the bullseye doesn’t require sleepless nights, a battle royal with all that data, or entertaining a visit from an executive’s worst enemy – AKA “decision paralysis.” 

To help make this process – and your decision – as easy and straightforward as possible, we’ve assembled a list of the top features and attributes to look for in your Org Chart Software search and discuss how they can help your company.

1. Ease of Use

First and foremost, to be an effective tool, org chart software should be easy to use and understand as it helps you make the best decisions possible for your organization. If the platform ends up as an obstacle you have to wrestle with in order to get the information and data you need, simply put, it won’t be used. 

When shopping for org chart software, look for technology that does the work for you by removing as many roadblocks as possible, including:

  • Automatic Synchronizations and Updates. The best platforms allow you to simply set it up and let it run, automatically syncing and updating with your HR tech stack, delivering the ability to focus on managing your team or organization rather than wrestling with data.

  • Drag-and-Drop Interface. Quick to learn and simple to use, drag-and-drop enables your company to easily visualize and manage the landscape of your company – even as it evolves in real-time.

  • Ease of Exporting. One-click ability to export data enables individuals and departments to share information and increase visibility for all people at every level.

When your people data can do more, so can you. Ultimately, you want a solution that not only makes your life easier, but empowers you to drive real-time insights from your actual data and metrics. The right technology will help your teams collaborate seamlessly while using data to forecast effectively and iterate on planning structures.

2. Multiple Visualization Options 

To reap the greatest benefit from your org chart software – a platform that, ideally, you will be using on a regular and consistent basis – it not only needs to be intuitive, engaging, and easy-to-follow with a high level of visual clarity, it needs to be robust and flexible enough to provide you the ability to create multiple, real-time scenarios.

Org chart software that gives you multiple options in visualizing your data, whether the company is organized by geography, function, customer, or product, can help you quickly parse info and data that could take you hours or even days to recognize and decipher if left in a mountain of black and white spreadsheets and files. 

When optimally implemented, the right org chart software can help you instantly see where and how your employees are deployed and immediately drill down on such details as tenure, skills, experience, salary levels, gender, ethnicity, and more. It will also help you quickly identify and categorize positions, groups, departments, and filtered results as it helps keep your data clean, organized, and understandable. 

As cliche as it sounds, pictures of your company’s growth really are worth a thousand words and the org chart software that can deliver the data you need in an engaging, intuitive, and visual manner will make your decision-making easier and more successful.

3. Transparency and Visibility for Everyone

When employees know and understand how they fit into a company they have the foundation and context necessary to achieve success. Org chart software can help improve engagement by increasing transparency and the flow of information between both departments and employees. 

Your org chart should serve as a directory and guide that develops and encourages a high level of employee transparency and clarity. 

Look for software that connects your people – not just as blinking dots on a screen, but with the valuable and up-to-date insights showing who they are, what they do, and how they fit into your organization.

What does this look like to different people?

  • For Individual Employees: Employees can work faster when they have the information they need – such as job descriptions, team information, and co-worker contact information – at their fingertips. This saves time and energy, helping them determine the best path to take as they work to make decisions. This access to information makes it easy to understand what needs to happen next.

  • For Management: Mid-Level Managers can use the platform to distill the available data down to usable information, engage their team, visualize and submit headcount plans, and optimize the overall employee experience.

  • For Company Leaders: People leaders can use metrics derived from your platform to identify areas that are in need of immediate attention and efficiently arrange their priority lists accordingly.

  • For Executives: Executives can have access to and an understanding of all pertinent data within cross-functional reports to get a feel for what is happening across the organization, gain insight and understanding into their teams and divisions, and then understand, establish, and achieve truly impactful KPIs. 

4. Seamless Integrations

Trying to connect and integrate software platforms can range from mildly inconvenient to intensely frustrating. The worst cases can even be professionally debilitating. Without strong ties and clean integrations between software platforms, it can often turn into an expensive effort of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole as you work to integrate separate data sets, pull together multiple spreadsheets, and merge different metrics all while getting each to communicate with the others in a way that actually helps you accomplish your goals. 

In short, when choosing the org chart solution that is best for you and your organization, you want something that works with you and not against you. A solution that not only integrates seamlessly into your current systems but also augments and improves them, helping you harness their combined strengths into one complete, robust, and comprehensive tool that organizes your people data and gives you clear, real-time views of your entire organization while eliminating manual updates, daily cross-checks, and out-of-date information.

The best org chart software should integrate with it all, including:

  • Payroll and HRIS: The best software will collect and aggregate all your payroll and compensation data – like payroll numbers, department salary budgets, company equity, and benefits packages – and put it immediately at your fingertips. No matter which or how many HRIS and payroll providers your company uses, the platform you choose should be able to handle and support integrations from them all.

  • Recruitment Software: Easily viewing and understanding when and where you have openings, need to hire, or, if necessary, complete a RIF should be automatic. A truly user-friendly solution will allow you to create, view, and consider multiple scenarios including information on the HR, financial, and organizational implications of each so you can quickly create and weigh an unlimited number of headcount plans.

  • Management Software: As your team or department grows, the ability to manage onboarding/offboarding efforts, enable security, manage employee SSO and more becomes increasingly important. The right software – with rich and complete people data, position profiles, and team organizations – will deliver clarity and understanding so your decision-makers can confidently put everyone in the best position be successful.   

5. Simplified Headcount Planning

Your org chart software should deliver the ability to visualize your organization, position your people, align your assets, and scale your business to maximize success. In short, a platform that takes headcount planning seriously. 

Optimally, a live org chart will evolve and change with the organization. When planning a reorganization or expansion, leaders can collaborate on different versions of the org chart before settling on a final structure. Org chart software also allows you to expand workforce planning beyond the C-suite to include board members, functional leaders, managers, and anyone else who should weigh in on staffing or headcount plans.

The best software enables you to visualize open roles and try new scenarios, all while identifying their impact on your bottom-line budgets. For example, the ability to analyze up-to-the-minute metrics based on real-time data will be a welcome and powerful tool as it allows you to identify how promotions, new hires, and department expansions or contractions will translate to the bottom line in terms of total compensation and related costs. Attempting to do this with a collection out-of-date spreadsheets or even cobbling it together from multiple, poorly-integrated platforms would be next to impossible.

Software with these features and capabilities will give you access to new and powerful insights, empower you to make better, more informed decisions, and deploy your people resources more productively as you plan for the future. 

6. High-End Security

The transparent sharing of information can help your company in a number of ways, as has been discussed. However, the ability to effectively share and communicate company data doesn’t mean throwing the door wide open to proprietary, protected, or proprietary information. 

The ability to provide company-wide transparency while sharing specific data and information in an organized and tiered permissions structure will help you disseminate the necessary data to the appropriate people and groups while also providing a top-flight level of privacy and security. 

There are multiple reasons high-end security should be a focal point when selecting new software:

  1. Protecting Sensitive Data: When handling sensitive employee information (Medical, financial, etc.), proper and robust security is paramount. If this data is not properly secured, it could be accessed by unauthorized individuals and potentially used for malicious purposes.

  2. Maintaining Customer Trust: In today’s business environment, protecting highly confidential and important information is a must. When a corporation experiences a data breach, it can lead to a loss of customer trust and damage the company’s reputation. This can have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line and lead to a decline in customer loyalty. Strong security virtually removes the chances of your company enduring this nightmare scenario. 

  3. Complying With Regulations: Corporations are required to adhere to certain security standards and regulations to protect sensitive employee data. Failing to meet these standards can result in a number of consequences ranging from a simple inconveniences and a general loss of trust all the way to potential fines and serious legal consequences.

  4. Protecting Against Cyber Threats: Cyber threats such as malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks are constantly becoming more and more sophisticated with serious consequences should they be successful. High-end security features and capabilities will help prevent breaches and mitigate the risks of a successful attack. 

Data integrity and security are primary and key features of best-in-class org chart software. A robust and customizable permissions structure combined with comprehensive security and privacy policies gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are able to securely share public data while keeping confidential employee information private. Choosing the right org chart software will delivery the flexibility you want while ensuring the privacy and security you need.

7. Personalized Customer Support

No matter how much homework you do or how much review and discussion takes place in making the decision, issues can arise. Having a company that stands behind the software and is committed to getting you up to speed and on your way to better, more informed decision making is the last piece of the puzzle. 

Choose a company that offers complete onboarding support helps facilitate integration and data uploads and quickly gets new users up to speed and comfortable with the platform. 

For after-purchase issues, full-time email and phone support helps with troubleshooting and enables users to take full advantage of org chart software functionality which, in the end, is what will best help you take complete control of your organization.

Clearly there are many important factors that need to be considered when selecting the right Org Chart Software platform for your company. The best packages will pull all your people data from the multiple systems you currently use and integrate it into a single source that gives you the ability to visualize your organization in a way you’ve never been able to see before. And it will do so in a way that is easy to use and understand, robust and flexible in its ability to deliver useful data and insight, and exceptionally safe and secure in the way that data is stored and shared – all supported by knowledgable back-end staff to ensure the transition to the platform is as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

While the features outlined are by no means a complete list, according to the hundreds of companies Gemini works with, those shared above are those that have had the biggest impact on their business operations and, ultimately, lead to the most successful results. 

For an informative discussion on the most important Org Chart Software features to consider for your business, click HERE to schedule a no-obligation call with the industry-leading professionals at Gemini.

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