How to Build a SharePoint Employee Directory with Pictures

Learn how to build a SharePoint employee directory step-by-step, explore its limitations, and discover why OneDirectory offers a superior alternative.

How to Build a SharePoint Employee Directory with Pictures

So you want to build an employee directory in SharePoint?

This step-by-step guide will walk you through setting up a SharePoint employee directory with profile pictures, ensuring everyone in your organization can find information about their coworkers.

Here we go.

Step 1: Set Up Your SharePoint Site

Note: If you already have a SharePoint site you can skip this step.

Set up a SharePoint site

Access SharePoint

  • Log into your SharePoint account and navigate to the SharePoint home page.

Create a New Site

  • Click on the "Create site" button.
  • Choose between a Team site or a Communication site. For an employee directory, a Communication site might be more suitable.
  • Follow the prompts to name your site, set privacy settings, and add users to your SharePoint.

Step 2: Create a List for Your Employee Information

  • From your site, click on the gear icon (settings) in the top right corner and select "Site contents."
SharePoint site contents
  • Click on the "New" button and select "List."
Create a new list in SharePoint

Create the List

  • You can choose the following options to create a new list, 'Blank list', 'From existing list', 'From Excel', or 'From CSV'. If you already have your employee user data in an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file then choose one of these options and go to Step 5.
Choose a SharePoint list type
  • To create your employee list from scratch choose 'Blank list.'
  • Next, name your list (e.g., "Employee Directory") and add a description. Make sure the 'Show in site navigation' is ticked.
  • Click "Create."

Step 3: Customize the List Columns

Add Columns for Your Employee Information

  • Open your newly created list.
  • Click on "Add column" to add the necessary fields for your employee directory.
Add a column in SharePoint
  • Typical fields include:
      • First Name
      • Last Name
      • Job Title
      • Department
      • Email
      • Office Location
      • Phone Number (use the 'number' column type)
      • Address (use the 'location' column type)
      • Hire Date (use the 'date and time' column type)
      • Profile Picture (use a 'hyperlink' column or a 'picture' column type)
      • Skills (use the 'choice' column type)
SharePoint employee directory columns
  • Customize each column as needed (e.g., set data types, required fields). You can drag columns in the order you would like them to show.

Step 4: Populate the List with Your Employee Data

Manually Add Your Employee Data

  • Click "New" to add employee information manually.
  • Fill out the form with the employee details and save.
Add an employee to your SharePoint employee directory

Bulk Import your Employee Data

  • Prepare your data in an Excel file with columns matching your SharePoint list.
  • In your SharePoint list, click on "Edit in Grid view" to enable bulk editing.
  • Copy data from your Excel file and paste it into the SharePoint list grid view.
SharePoint Employee Directory

Step 5: Create a Custom View

Create a Custom View

  • Click on the "All items" dropdown (or the name of your current view) and select "Create new view."
  • Choose the view type (List View is common).
  • Name your view (e.g., "Employee Directory View").
  • Select the columns you want to display and set the sort order (e.g., alphabetically by last name).
  • Save your view.

Change your Employee Directory View

  • Click on your new view (e.g., "Employee Directory View").
  • You can now choose between, 'List', 'Compact List', and 'Gallery'
Gallery SharePoint employee directory view

Step 6: Design Your Employee Directory Page

Create a Page for Your Employee Directory

  • Go to your site’s homepage.
  • Click on "New" and select "Page."
  • Choose a layout for your page (e.g., blank, one column).
Add new SharePoint page

Add Web Parts

  • Click on the "+" sign to add a web part.
  • Add the "List" web part and select your Employee Directory list.
Add list web part in SharePoint
  • Customize the display settings of the web part as needed (e.g., view, number of items to show).
Employee Directory SharePoint page

Step 7: Publish Your SharePoint Employee Directory

Save and Publish

  • After customizing your page, click on "Save as draft" to save your progress.
  • Click on "Publish" to make the directory accessible to your organization.

Step 8: Manage Permissions

Set Permissions

  • Go to your list or page settings.
  • Click on "Permissions for this list" or "Page permissions."
  • Adjust the permissions to control who can view or edit the directory.

By following these steps, you can create a basic and functional employee directory in SharePoint for your employees to use.

Let's Be Honest: Building a SharePoint Employee Directory is Not Ideal

Creating a SharePoint employee directory might seem like a good solution initially, but it quickly becomes a headache to maintain.

Keeping information updated manually is a time-consuming task prone to errors. The search functionality often leaves much to be desired, frustrating users trying to find colleagues. The overall user experience is subpar, which means employees are likely to avoid using it altogether.

Consider OneDirectory's Modern Employee Directory Instead

OneDirectory's modern employee directory offers a more efficient solution by automatically syncing with Microsoft 365 user profiles, providing advanced search capabilities, and ensuring a user-friendly experience.

OneDirectory employee directory tool

OneDirectory provides significant advantages like:

Try OneDirectory Today!

Experience the benefits of OneDirectory's modern employee directory solution with a 14-day free trial. Sign up today and see how it can transform your organization's employee management.