GUIDE 2024

What is a Human Resources Diagram?

Human resources diagrams facilitate HR functions by making it easier for employees to understand and implement structures, processes, and plans.

The human resources department, or HR, is crucial to any organization. It plays a vital role in managing employees and ensuring their well-being. HR departments are responsible for creating a conducive work environment, handling employee grievances, and implementing policies and procedures that promote the growth and development of organizations.

Human resource diagrams are among the most effective tools an HR team can use to streamline its work. These diagrams are visual representations of HR functions and processes and help to organize and simplify complex concepts.

This article will cover human resources diagrams, their benefits and types, and how you can create and use them to improve HR management.

Benefits of Human Resource Diagrams

Human resources diagrams are essential tools to simplify complex structures and processes and provide a clear and concise understanding of the various activities involved in each process.

Some of the benefits of using human resources diagrams are the following.

Support HR Planning

Human resources diagrams can support HR planning in several ways:

  • Workforce Analysis: HR diagrams can help HR professionals analyze the organization’s existing human resource capacity by providing insights into the number of current human resources, their roles, and their distribution across the organization. HR teams can use this analysis to identify human resource capacities needed, potential skill gaps, or areas with too many or too few employees.
  • Succession Planning: HR diagrams can also help in succession planning by identifying key positions within the organization and their potential successors. HR teams can use this information to develop training and development plans for employees who can potentially move into key roles in the future.
  • Recruitment and Selection: HR diagrams can help identify areas where the organization needs to recruit new employees. The diagrams can also help define the skills and experience required for each role, guiding the recruitment and selection process.
  • Performance Management: HR diagrams can support performance management by defining clear lines of authority and accountability. Managers can use this insight to understand employee roles and responsibilities better and set performance goals and expectations.

Improve Communication

Human resource diagrams can significantly improve communication within a company.

  • Clarity: Human resource diagrams can help employees understand their roles and responsibilities by providing a visual representation of the company’s structure. The clarity provided by the diagrams reduces confusion and misunderstandings, leading to more effective communication.
  • Transparency: When employees see the organizational structure, they can understand how information flows through the company and how managers make decisions. The resulting increase in trust reduces suspicion, leading to open and honest communication.
  • Efficiency: Human resource diagrams can also help streamline communication by identifying key decision-makers and points of contact. Reduced time and effort for communicating important information leads to greater efficiency and productivity.
  • Alignment: By aligning employees with the company’s goals and objectives, human resource diagrams can create a shared sense of purpose. This alignment can improve communication by creating a common language and vision for the company.

Optimize HR Processes and Operations

HR teams can use human resource diagrams to optimize HR processes and operations.

  • Identify bottlenecks: Human resource diagrams help to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in workflows by providing a visual representation of HR processes. HR teams can use this insight to streamline processes and improve overall efficiency.
  • Clarify responsibilities: Human resource diagrams can help clarify roles and responsibilities within the HR department, reducing confusion and duplication of effort. As a result, HR teams can complete tasks efficiently and effectively.
  • Streamline decision-making: By identifying key decision points in HR processes, human resource diagrams can help to streamline decision-making. HR teams can use this information to reduce the time and effort required to make crucial decisions.
  • Improve compliance: Human resource diagrams can also help to ensure compliance with regulations and company policies. By mapping out HR processes and procedures, HR managers can identify potential compliance issues and take corrective action to address them.

Types of Human Resources Diagrams

There are several types of human resources diagrams, each serving a specific purpose.

1. Organizational Charts

An organization chart is a visual representation of a company’s structure, showing the hierarchy of roles and reporting relationships within the organization. The chart starts with the highest-level position – such as the CEO or president – at the top, then shows the next positions in the hierarchy, and so on.

Organization charts can also show additional information about each position, such as job titles, responsibilities, and departmental or divisional affiliations.

An organization chart is a useful tool for companies of all sizes. HR can use it to help with decision-making, communication, and planning. HR can update the chart as the company grows and changes, ensuring that employees always have an accurate understanding of the organization’s structure.

2. HR Matrix Diagram

A matrix diagram is a tool HR can use to outline the hierarchical structure in cases where employees report to multiple managers, departments, or channels, which makes the reporting structure more complex.

Employees can quickly identify their position within the company and the person(s) they report to. The result is efficient feedback and faster decision-making, contributing to the growth of both employees and the organization.

Mapping out the vertical and horizontal hierarchy assists in avoiding information silos and enables the transfer of information and skills between different groups. This, in turn, promotes collaboration and communication within the organization.

3. Flowcharts

A flowchart is a visual representation of a process or workflow, using shapes and symbols to illustrate the steps involved and the order in which they occur. You can use flowcharts to document, visualize, analyze, and improve processes.

Organizations can use flowcharts to identify potential bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or other problems in a process. They can also help identify opportunities for improvement, such as reducing cycle time or eliminating unnecessary steps. By mapping out a process in a flowchart, teams can work collaboratively to understand it and find ways to optimize it.

4. Fishbone Diagrams

A fishbone diagram, also known as an Ishikawa diagram or a cause-and-effect diagram, is a tool organizations can use to identify and analyze the potential causes of a problem. It is a visual representation that resembles the shape of a fishbone, with the problem or issue at the “head” of the fish and the potential causes identified along the “bones” of the fish.

The fishbone diagram helps organize information and ideas by breaking down a problem into various components. The major categories of causes are identified as branches of the main “bones” of the fish, with subcategories and specific causes listed under each branch. By using this tool, individuals and teams can break down complex problems into manageable parts and work towards resolving the underlying issues.

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How to Create a Human Resources Diagram

The process for creating a human resource diagram will vary depending on the purpose and type of diagram. Follow these steps to create your diagram.

1. Determine the Purpose and Scope

Before creating a human resource diagram, it is important to identify its specific purpose and scope. For example, an organizational chart will show the reporting relationships between positions. In contrast, a process flow chart will illustrate the steps involved in a specific HR process.

2. Identify Essential Information

Once the purpose and scope of the diagram have been established, the next step is to identify the specific information to include in it. Relevant information can include job titles, departmental affiliations, reporting relationships, or other related details.

3. Choose the Appropriate Software or Tool

Various software tools and templates are available for creating human resource diagrams. You can choose the software you are comfortable with that satisfies your needs.

4. Create the Initial Diagram

Using the chosen software or tool, create the initial version of the diagram. You can drag and drop shapes and symbols onto the canvas and connect them with lines or arrows to show relationships between positions or steps.

5. Review and Revise

Once the initial diagram is ready, review it for accuracy and completeness. Make revisions as needed, such as adding or deleting positions, adjusting reporting relationships, or refining the details of each step in a process.

6. Finalize

After reviewing and revising, finalize the diagram by providing clear labeling and ensuring it is easy to understand. You can add color or other design elements to improve the visual appeal of the diagram.


Human resources diagrams are powerful tools that help to simplify complex HR processes, improve communication, and increase efficiency. You can use these diagrams to streamline HR management, improve communication between managers and employees, and boost productivity and profitability.


Here are some frequently asked questions about human resources diagrams.

What tools can you use to create a human resource diagram?

You can find various online tools to create diagrams and flowcharts. A few popular tools are Microsoft Visio, Lucidchart, Textografo, Creately,, Omnigraffle, SmartDraw, Cacoo, and Gliffy Diagram. A significant advantage of these tools is support for collaboration. You also get ready-made templates, even with free plans. It’s best to choose the tool that you are most comfortable with. Rather than making elaborate or complex diagrams, focus on properly organizing the elements or steps within them.

What are the benefits of using human resources diagrams for business?

Human resources diagrams help simplify complex HR processes, improve communication between managers and employees, and increase efficiency, which translates to better human resource management, productivity, and profitability for the business.

What are the different types of human resources diagrams?

Several types of human resources diagrams exist, including organizational charts, flowcharts, and fishbone diagrams.

How can you create a human resources diagram?

Creating a human resources diagram involves identifying the HR structure or process you want to represent, choosing the type of diagram that best suits it, identifying the key components, and adding details.


If you are new to human resources and are looking to break into an HR role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.