How to Make a Chain of Command Chart

by Colby Stream; Updated September 26, 2017
The CEO is at the top of the chain of command.

A chain of command chart shows the organization of a company through a hierarchy. Often, it's called an organizational hierarchy chart. The term “chain of command,” however, implies that communication should move through the hierarchy in a specific order. Create a chain of command chart in your company to remind employees whom they should communicate with first and what steps they should take when they do so.

Glue a picture of the CEO, or highest person, of the organization at the top of a piece of poster board. Write his name and title underneath the image.

Draw chain links between this person and each individual directly under him. Make the number of chain links equal to the number of steps the person below must take before approaching his superior. For example, the chief operating officer may need to confer with the chief financial officer and craft the information into a report before talking to the CEO. This would put two links between the CEO and COO.

Write the steps next to each link. Assign the first step to the lowest link. Apply the second step to the next lowest link and so on. Repeat for each person in the organization.

Tips

  • Make the steps as general or as specific as necessary. Some employees may have only one or two reasons they need to talk to a superior, meaning they need specific steps. Other employees may have many reasons to contact their superior, meaning their steps should be general enough to cover most eventualities.

    Cross-reference steps with its section in the employee handbook if you can't include all eventualities into the step.

About the Author

Colby Stream has been a writer since 2007. His work has appeared in "The Arbiter," the student newspaper of Boise State University, as well as various websites. Stream graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication as a presidential civic leadership scholar.

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