Horizontal organization chart: definition, interest and creation

Horizontal organization chart: definition, interest and creation


Businesses have the option of opting for a non-traditional org chart format depending on their needs and organizational structure. The horizontal organizational chart is among the main organizational chart templates used. This type of structure has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years within companies.

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What is a horizontal organization chart?

The horizontal organization chart, also called flat organization chart, is opposed to the traditional hierarchical organization chart which is based on the verticality of the work relationships. It has the particularity of having few or no intermediate hierarchical levels. In principle, it comprises only two levels: the management and the employees. In this type of structure, most levels of management are eliminated and the employees are in direct contact with the leaders. All employees are therefore not separated by several levels, as is the case for the hierarchical structure.

Unlike the vertical flowchart which is deployed from top to bottom, the horizontal flowchart reads from left to right. Leaders are shown on the left side and employees on the right side. In this way, all employees benefit from the same hierarchical level.

The horizontal structure is characterized by the allocation of a greater number of responsibilities to employees and their direct involvement in decision-making. The employees of a company operating from a flat organization collaborate in teams or projects, in working circles in which they all participate in the development of the company.

The horizontal organization chart is a model that is particularly suitable for small businesses such as VSEs and SMEs because of their small workforce. It is also used by many new businesses, especially those where there is no chain of command. Larger companies can use the flat org chart to highlight a specific department. In this case, the organization chart only identifies the department’s manager and employees.

Today, the horizontal organizational chart is more and more popular with companies to the detriment of the vertical structure, because of the evolution of management methods. Long considered the most efficient type of structure, the vertical organization is in fact today less flexible than the horizontal organization. Companies are rethinking the way they manage teams, which is leading them to gradually erase the traces of vertical organization to turn to a more agile structure, and therefore to more horizontality.

What is the point of a horizontal structure?

The main objective of the horizontal structure is to establish balance and harmony between management and employees. Teamwork and trust play an important role in this structure.

The implementation of a horizontal structure within a company reinforces the cohesion between the teams. This facilitates communication between the different employees, regardless of their hierarchical level. The level of fulfillment at work is also improved.

Working within a horizontal organization means promoting transparency to the teams in the execution of operations.

The horizontal structure finds all its interest in its participative character. It is above all thanks to this that the ability of employees to work together develops. Indeed, in this type of organization, the constitution of multidisciplinary teams around a project or a product is necessary. The idea is to bring together complementary expertise as well as people ready to get involved. The fact that the horizontal structure allows employees to participate in the development of their company increases their involvement, which is essential for retaining teams. Opting for a flat organization multiplies the possibilities for employees to share ideas and knowledge according to the functions requested. This also makes it possible to streamline the transmission of information, making knowledge sharing a resource that affects a company’s ability to produce.

Since it offers more responsibilities to employees, the flat structure gives them greater autonomy and self-management, which implies less supervision from managers. In addition, decision-making is not only faster, but also more flexible.

Establishing a flat structure is a good way for companies to increase their productivity. Indeed, this increases the rate of execution of new projects, and also implies better preparation for the changes with which they may be confronted.

The fact that the horizontal organization chart does not require a management level also has an advantage in terms of cost. Thanks to this type of structure, the budget to be allocated to middle managers is reduced.

How to create a horizontal organization chart?

The horizontal organizational chart is easier to make than other organizational chart templates due to the absence of intermediate hierarchical levels. However, the steps for creating this type of flowchart remain similar.

To begin with, you have to clearly understand the internal structure of your company, and therefore focus on the way employees work. Simply put, it’s about how teams should collaborate and communicate. Analyzing in depth the work or the production process of the company makes it possible to create the different teams. The essence of this step is to study the relationships that exist within the company.

Then, you have to list all the employees of the company so that you don’t forget anyone when creating the horizontal organization chart. An exchange with the various work teams is also essential, whether with all employees or only with spokespersons, depending on the size of the company. The goal is to ensure that everyone collaborates and that everyone knows the work they have to do. During these exchanges, it is important to collect the essential information concerning the employees such as their surname, their first name and the exact title of their function. You should also think about

Now that the information on the collaborators is collected and that the hierarchical links are identified, it only remains to establish the organization chart. First of all, you have to create a box representing the manager, then a box for each employee. Then, we must add lines that connect the leader to the employees. The chart has solid lines that show primary reporting relationships and dotted lines that show secondary reporting relationships. Finally, you must fill in all the data on the manager and the employees in the corresponding boxes.

Once the horizontal organization chart has been created, it is also necessary to take into account the changes the company may face. Indeed, arrivals, departures or job changes can take place, which quickly makes the organization chart obsolete. This is why this tool must be regularly updated in order to correspond to the real situation of the company.

To go further, download these free timeline and flowchart templates and use them to plan your processes and programs.Models of friezes and flowcharts

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