The complete guide to creating your company's directory: definition, benefits, user manual, and tools.
The company directory is an essential internal communication and collaboration tool for all businesses, large and small. This document, which gathers portraits and essential information about various team members, allows for quickly associating a face and contact details with a name and position. It is extremely useful for current employees, as well as for new hires, partners, and even clients.
According to a 2023 survey conducted by WTW, workplace relationships rank third in the list of employee retention factors. In a competitive job market, investing in a modern company directory can be a solution to streamline interactions among employees, retain collaborators, and reduce turnover-related costs.
So, how do you go about creating your own corporate directory? In this article, Mozzaik365 provides all the keys to successfully implement your directory project. Happy reading!
What is a Company Directory?
Before delving further, let's begin with a brief presentation of what a company directory is and the different forms it can take.
Company Directory: Definition
The company directory is an internal collaboration and communication tool. In its simplest form, it appears as a document or a web page containing portraits, names, professional contact information, and positions of each team member.
In its more advanced version, the corporate directory is interactive and hosted on the company's intranet. It includes a search engine, a detailed profile for each collaborator (skills, education, interests, etc.), and, most importantly, an organizational chart allowing a quick overview of the hierarchical structure of the organization.
Different Types of Company Organizational Charts
The corporate organizational chart is an essential component of a modern company directory. It is an internal and external communication tool that visually represents the hierarchical relationships among various members of the organization, allowing for a quick understanding of everyone's responsibilities. The chosen organizational chart structure reflects the company's culture and operation. There are numerous types of company organizational charts, including:
- Hierarchical or Vertical Organizational Chart:
This model is the simplest and most commonly used. The pyramid-shaped chart emphasizes the hierarchical relationships among organization members. The position of employees in the pyramid depends on their level of responsibility. The top management (CEO, executives, board members, etc.) is at the top, followed by department directors, middle managers, and employees at the base of the pyramid.
- Horizontal or Flat Organizational Chart:
This type reflects a collaborative company culture where employees have direct contact with leaders and are involved in decision-making processes. The horizontal structure has few hierarchical levels, with the first level featuring portraits of the leadership and the second level featuring employees, placed on an equal footing.
- Mixed Organizational Chart:
This hybrid chart combines both vertical and horizontal elements. It organizes individuals vertically by responsibility level and horizontally by department or function. This type is suitable for large companies with different departments.
- Matrix Organizational Chart:
This chart reflects an organizational form where employees report to multiple hierarchical superiors, such as a project manager and the company's financial manager. In this chart, lines of subordination are represented both vertically and horizontally.
- Circular Organizational Chart:
This chart is for collaborative companies promoting collaboration between departments. The top management is at the center, and other functions are represented in concentric circles, moving from the center to the periphery based on their position in the hierarchy.
Why Create a Company Directory?
The company directory serves several purposes and plays key roles, providing compelling reasons to adopt it for your organization.
Facilitating Internal and External Collaboration and Communication
The directory allows employees to put a face to each of their colleagues, particularly valuable in large organizations where employees from different departments may not frequently meet. Moreover, a modern company directory also provides information on each collaborator's position, skills, responsibilities, and hierarchical connections with colleagues. With the corporate directory, employees can quickly identify who to contact for queries or assistance. When shared (in whole or in part) with clients, potential candidates, and business partners, the directory enables these groups to swiftly identify the relevant contact person.
Furthermore, the directory provides access to the professional contact information of various team members, allowing employees to easily reach out to their chosen internal contacts without wasting time searching for email addresses or phone numbers. The company directory thus signifies increased productivity and a better employee experience. Additionally, when made public, the directory can help clients, partners, and potential candidates easily find the contact details of an employee, creating business opportunities and serving as a recruitment asset.
Facilitating the Integration of New Employees
The directory is a powerful tool for successful onboarding of new hires. New employees can use it to identify their contacts, find their contact information, reach out to them, and even get to know them through their personal profiles (key skills, interests, education, etc.). Thanks to the directory, new employees quickly adapt, integrate into the company culture, and become more productive.
A bonus is that when the directory includes an organizational chart, the corporate directory helps new talents better understand the organization's functioning, easily grasp the company's culture (whether hierarchical or flat, for example), and even envision their career progression within the company. From this perspective, the directory becomes an ally in retaining your employees.
Streamlining Company Operations
Lastly, creating a modern company directory helps streamline the organization's operations. This exercise prompts the leadership to formalize the company's culture and hierarchical structure. During this process, top management and HR can identify dysfunctions, inconsistencies, or shortcomings in function allocation and subordination relationships. As a tool for internal communication and collaboration, the modern company directory also serves as a human resources management tool.
How to Create a Company Directory?
Do you want to create a company directory to enjoy all the benefits of this tool? Here is a step-by-step guide:
#1 Define Your Need and Collect Required Information
The first step in creating a company directory is to identify the purpose it serves. For example, you may want to showcase your company's organization, provide in-depth information about each employee, or simply offer an overview of the different faces in the company.
Once your objective is determined, choose the appropriate structure (alphabetical order, geographical zone, team, or presentation in the form of an organizational chart) and gather the necessary information for your directory (photographic portraits, professional information, employee contact details, functional and hierarchical links between collaborators, etc.).
#2 Choose the Tool to Create Your Company Directory
The second step is to choose a tool that allows you to format the directory according to your accessibility, design, and usage needs. Several options are available, including:
- Office suite software (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel): These tools make it easy to create directories and organizational charts with images using the SmartArt feature.
- Online graphic design software like Canva: Canva enables the creation of beautiful directories from original and free templates (including a tree-style directory). Canva also offers a user-friendly and free online organizational chart creator.
- Mind mapping software like Gitmind: This solution allows the creation of visual directories and organizational charts for free, collaboratively and easily, using customizable templates.
- Digital collaboration platforms like Miro: Miro also offers a directory creation tool and allows for the creation of an online organizational chart for free.
- Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace: Our platform includes a directory component that facilitates the creation of a modern, interactive, functional, and aesthetically pleasing directory with a search engine, filters, and search suggestions (by names, positions, skills, etc.). It also features detailed and customizable user profiles, quick contact buttons for each employee, and an integrated organizational chart. By integrating your directory and organizational chart into your Microsoft365 intranet, you overcome the main limitation of these tools: their static nature. With Mozzaik365's directory component, your directory and organizational chart are synchronized with the employee database of your Digital Workplace, automatically updating to reflect the real-time composition and organization of your company.
#3 Deploy the Solution in Your Company
The third step to implement a company directory is to deploy the solution. To do this, designate the person or people responsible for formatting and updating the directory over time. Create your directory using the chosen tool and then share it with the relevant audience. For effective internal distribution, consider featuring your directory on your company's intranet.
#4 Promote Your Directory Internally
The fourth and final step is to bring the directory to life and promote it internally. To ensure the directory is truly adopted by employees and yields results, keep it regularly updated with new hires, departures, and promotions. Additionally, to familiarize employees with the use of the directory, designate ambassadors and incorporate the presentation of this tool into the onboarding process for new hires.
🚀 Ready to embark on creating your company directory? To guide you in your directory project and ensure you don't forget anything, download our checklist "Setting up Your Company Directory."
The Complete Guide to Company Directories: Key Takeaways
A company directory is a gallery of portraits showcasing all members of an organization. It is a valuable tool for internal and external communication and collaboration, suitable for both large and small structures. The directory allows putting a face and a name to a position. In its more advanced form, the directory can reveal the hierarchical structure of the company (organizational chart), facilitate quick contact, and provide detailed information about collaborators. It's up to you to choose the type of directory that meets the needs of your company.
Certainly, an interactive directory integrated into your intranet, like the Mozzaik365 directory component, is a real asset for your organization. Unlike traditional directories, which have the major drawback of being static and quickly becoming outdated, this type of directory is automatically updated, allows for detailed profile presentation without sacrificing clarity, and can even be connected to the tools available to the employee in their digital workspace (such as their email).
If you're interested in implementing an intelligent directory, request a demo to explore Mozzaik365's Who's Who.