How to Read an Organizational Chart

by Hunter Taylor; Updated September 26, 2017

Organizational charts are used by a company as a visual display of the company's structure. Usually, there is an org chart for each department in a company. The organizational charts also help employees understand where they fit within a company. Learn how to read an organizational chart.

Step 1

Look at the highest block on the chart. This is the person in the department with the most responsibility.

Step 2

Look down and to the left of the highest block on the chart that branches out. This is the administrative assistant or executive assistant to the department head.

Step 3

Look further down the chart. The boxes that branch out from the department head report to him/her. They are the next level of management and their titles may be manager, supervisor, director or vice president, just to name a few.

Step 4

Look further down the chart to the boxes under the next level of management under the department head. Those associates report to the second highest level of management. Their titles may be team lead or team coordinator. They are the third level of management.

Step 5

Look to the boxes under the third level of management. These are the staff positions.


  • Organizational charts for entire companies are usually created and maintained by the Human Resources department.

About the Author

Hunter Taylor has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has authored articles for the "The Social Contract Journal," as well as newspapers, legislative magazines and e-newsletters for state legislators and organizations. Taylor holds a Master of Business Administration from Shorter University.

Photo Credits

  • Image courtesy of Microsoft Office online