Organizational charts are crucial documents for explaining the structure of a company, from senior leadership right down to the operational staff. Organizational charts are visual aids that help leaders to see, at a glance, the overall management structure in their company. It shows the relationships between each staff member and, most crucially, designates reporting lines. Though many leaders have a strong understanding of the structure of their company, putting this down on paper — or rather, virtual paper — isn’t so easy. That’s where templates come in.

In this article, you’ll learn why organizational chart templates are so helpful and take inspiration from a variety of examples. We’ll even throw in a template built on the monday.com Work OS and show you exactly why it’s the ultimate option for organizational chart creation.

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What is a free organizational chart template?

An organizational chart template is a customizable document that allows you to build an org chart from a predefined framework.

Org chart templates combine common management relationships — such as a Marketing Manager reporting to a VP of Marketing — with arrows to indicate reporting hierarchy. An organization chart template helps CEOs or senior executives visualize the organizational structure and execute a company restructure, but there are other reasons it comes in handy as well.

screenshot of monday.com organizational chart collaborative view

Why use a free organizational chart template?

The main reason leaders use organizational chart templates is efficiency. Rather than starting from scratch when laying out the company management and reporting structure, a template allows managers to enter the names or roles of employees and move the boxes and arrows around to suit the company’s specific structure.

Templates also promote accuracy by providing a set framework that includes all managers, departments, or reporting lines. Plus, because these templates are approved by experienced business leaders, managers can draw on that experience and start from a solid foundation.

Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the design benefit of using an organizational chart template. With so much information to pack in (especially for those large organizations), charts may look more like a messy, cluttered, drawing and less like a professional diagram. But templates turn out beautiful, clean visuals every time. There are many different kinds of organizational chart templates for different applications.

What are some examples of free organizational chart templates?

Free organizational chart template for startups

When preparing to launch a new company, it’s often helpful to lay out an organizational chart to illustrate the ideal startup structure and indicate which key roles to hire for.

This organizational chart template is designed specifically for startups in the software industry, breaking down four of the most common early-stage departments:

  • SEO and marketing
  • Development
  • Design
  • Finance, HR, and administration

If your startup organizational structure looks similar to this, then you can easily throw your existing staff members’ names in and get to work.

example of an organizational chart for startups

(Image Source)

Free organizational chart template for established companies

This organizational chart template is better suited for more established companies with complex structures and larger teams.

In this template, you have standard reporting lines — such as department VPs reporting to the President of the company — and additional arrows that indicate where particular managers work closely together, for example, the relationship between the VP of Finance and the VP of Marketing.

example of an organizational chart for established companies

(Image Source)

monday.com’s free organizational chart template

Though many organizational chart templates are pretty helpful, they all lack one key feature: connectivity.

That’s why monday.com Work OS built their own org chart template. Here are four functionalities that make this template stand out from the rest:

  1. Drag and drop: unlike most org chart templates that require a bunch of double-clicking, resizing, and text editing, monday.com uses a straightforward drag and drop approach, making chart design simple.
  2. Integrations: monday.com integrates with all of your favorite tools, from Microsoft Word and Microsoft 365 to Slack, Mailchimp, Google Slides, and more.
  3. Connectivity: because the organizational chart template is built on the Work OS, you’re able to pull existing data from your monday.com boards quickly. For example, because all of your employees already have accounts on monday.com, you can easily add their profiles to your org chart, profile pic, and all.
  4. Dashboard widget: share your organizational chart with the whole team by adding an org chart widget to your customizable dashboard.

organizational chart board view in monday.com example

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Now that we’ve covered some different kinds of organizational chart templates, let’s explore how to best use organizational charts.

Tips & tricks for creating an organizational chart

Group employees with the same job title

While the primary goal of an organizational chart is to create a visual representation of the entire team structure, it’s also important to keep charts concise and easy to understand. Larger companies are likely to have many employees with the same job title. In this case, create one box with the position title, and then group several employee names below it, like the example on the right:

example of an organizational chart that groups employees by job title

(Image Source)

Make sizes and spacing of boxes uniform

To make your org chart and company structure easier to understand, try to keep chart boxes the same size. Similarly, keep the spacing between each box and column uniform.

Use color coding to differentiate departments

Consider using different color schemes in your organization chart design to distinguish between the different departments. For example, the sales team chart boxes could all be yellow, and the administration boxes could be green, perhaps with darker shades of each for their respective managers.

Link out to important documentation

Maximize the efficiency of digital organization charts by linking job descriptions to each role. If you’d like to elaborate on the relationships between different employees, you can do so in a separate document and link out to this also.

Make sure to keep your organizational chart up to date

One of the problems with organizational charts is that employees are constantly leaving and joining the company, so it can quickly become out of date. To ensure your org chart remains relevant and helpful, assign someone on your team the responsibility of regularly updating it.

You might choose to do this monthly or have someone in the human resources team who is responsible for hiring new staff update it each time a new employee joins.

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FAQs about free organizational chart templates

How do I make an organizational chart in Word?

You can build a simple organizational chart in Microsoft Word using different SmartArt styles.

  1. Navigate to the Insert tab, and open up the SmartArt panel
  2. Under the SmartArt Graphic Gallery, click on Hierarchy, and then choose the Organization Chart option
  3. Edit the text in each box with the name and role of each of your employees

If your organization is complex and you need more detail in your organizational chart, consider monday.com’s template for more customization options.

What is the best free program to make an organizational chart?

Google Drawings is a great free tool for creating simple organizational charts. Or, you can download our organizational chart template built on monday.com and turn things up a level or two.

Is there an org chart template in Excel?

Strictly speaking, there is no organizational chart template in Microsoft Excel.

However, Excel does allow you to use the SmartArt function to add a simple org chart structure to your spreadsheet. Simply:

  1. Click on the Insert tab
  2. Click on the SmartArt button
  3. Select the Hierarchy gallery
  4. Select the Organization Chart SmartArt style

If you’d like more customization options and the ability to collaborate in real-time, monday.com’s organizational chart template is a more flexible option.

Does Google Docs have an org chart template?

No, Google Docs does not have a native org chart template. You can draw your own organizational chart within Google Docs, however, by following these steps:

  1. Click Insert
  2. Navigate to Drawing
  3. Click New
  4. Create boxes for each staff member
  5. Add text to each box to add the employee name and title
  6. Create arrows to demonstrate reporting lines and relationships between each employee
  7. Click Save and close to add the drawing to your Google Doc

However, rather than creating your org chart manually, it might be helpful to use a pre-designed template that you can customize to suit your needs, like the one from monday.com.

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