Org Charts vs. Employee Directories

Organizational charts and employee directories are two separate tools, but they don't have to be. In fact, they're better when they're together.

Org Charts vs. Employee Directories

Sometimes people will mention the "org chart" when referring to their company's people directory.

Org chart stands for organizational chart and it's similar to an employee directory in that it shows information about the people in your company.

But where it differs is that an org chart focuses more on the organizational hierarchy of your company, as opposed to the employee directory's focus on contact and profile information.

Org charts are primarily displayed as an organogram:

Functional hybrid organizational chart

Because they're similar, many org chart tools and employee directory tools overlap in functionality.

For example, in OneDirectory you can browse your organizational hierarchy in a full org chart view, zooming, scrolling and panning to see your organizational structure. But you can jump straight into your employee directory by clicking on a profile.

OneDirectory org chart

Conversely, when viewing a profile in the employee directory you can easily switch to view them in the organizational chart.

How do you choose between org chart software and employee directory software?

Use organizational chart software if your main goal is to showcase the hierarchical structure of your company. If you have strict reporting lines and you emphasize the relationships between managers and their direct reports, an org chart might be a good choice. HR teams will find this useful.

On the other hand, choose employee directory software if you want to help your teams get connected with each other more easily, and if you're looking for a simple way to improve communication and workplace efficiency.

Of course, you could implement both tools. Some products include both an org chart and an employee directory, which can make implementation easier and can save on costs.