How to Make a SharePoint Employee Directory (With Pictures)

How to Make a SharePoint Employee Directory (With Pictures)

Are you looking for a way to create an employee directory in your SharePoint intranet?

If so, I have good news for you. SharePoint offers different ways to show an employee directory on any of the pages.

In this article, let’s talk about the different SharePoint employee directory options you have and how to set them up.

Let’s get started.

How to create an employee directory in SharePoint

If you want to create an employee directory in SharePoint, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Create a custom list first

Before anything else, you need to create the directory first. The easiest way to do this is by creating a custom list.

On your site, click on the “New” button and select “List” from the option:

How to add a new list in SharePoint

Now, you have two options on how to proceed:

  • Start with a blank list and organize everything
  • Upload a spreadsheet that contains the information about your employees

If you want to create from blank instead, then click on its button when creating a list:

Select the "Blank list" option to create a list from scratch

Afterwards, you need to add columns relevant to your directory like:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Contact number
  • Job title

Note: If this is the route you want to take, I suggest you review what I have written in my guide on how to create a custom list in SharePoint Online.

On the other hand, if you want to make things simpler, you can also create a list from an Excel spreadsheet and start from there.

Click on the “From Excel” option:

Select "From Excel" option

Note: Before you upload the Excel file, make sure to format the directory as a “table”. Otherwise, the system will not be able to create a list out of the Excel file.

After you upload the Excel file, you will be able to customize and check on the columns included:

Customize the columns from the uploaded Excel file

Note: If you need more help on this, check out my article on how to create a new list where I expounded more on what you can read here.

2. Add in a “Person” column in the list

Although this part isn’t necessary, you may want to do this if your employees are on the intranet and have their own user accounts.

There are so many benefits to doing this like:

  • Connects your employee directory list to the Azure Directory
  • Being able to see more information on the employee from their information on the Azure Directory
  • The profile picture of the user also gets displayed through this method

Now, to proceed, add a column as usual and this time, select “Person” from the options. You can name it however you like.

Click on the add column and select person from the options

Once you set that up, all that’s left is to edit the list items and tie them up with users in the Azure Directory.

To edit a list item, simply right-click on an item or hover your mouse over it and click on the three vertically-aligned dots.

Then, click on the “Edit” button.

Right-click on a list item and select edit from the options

Then, on the field for the “Person” column, simply enter the name of the employee and click on the correct choice.

Find the employee from the Azure Directory list and save the changes

Note: If the user has a profile picture in his or her Microsoft account, then it will also show here and in any other places where the user’s account is tagged.

3. Add an “Image” column

This step is optional. But if you really want to display an image on each item, then all you need to do is add a new column.

This time, choose the “Image” option:

Add a new image column to the list

Like with the earlier step, all you need to do here is edit the list items and upload the image on the correct field.

Hit the “Save” button once you’re done.

Upload the image and save the new changes

4. Display the list on a page

To show the list to a page, you need to edit that page first.

For example:

On the home page, you will see an “Edit” button in the upper-right section of the page:

Click the edit button on the upper-right corner of the SharePoint page

After that, select a space where you want to add the list. Hover your mouse until you see a plus icon that you can click.

Then, choose the “List” web part (you can also search for it if you can’t find it right away):

Select the list web part and insert it to the page

You will then see a list of all the lists that you have on the site. Select the employee directory list.

Simply publish the page and you will now see the directory list on that page.

Showing a preview of how the employee directory page looks on the page

Note: If you want to display the profile picture, you may also want to put the “Image” column first so viewers will see it first.

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    Other employee directory options in SharePoint

    Here are other options for showing an employee directory in SharePoint:

    1. Directly show the employee directory document

    If you feel like the steps and the outcome above are a little over what you expected, then you can have a go through it the simplest way.

    Note: This still requires you to create an employee directory document though (better if you use Word than Excel) and upload it to the site.

    Now, all you have to do is edit the page and use the “File Viewer” web part:

    Search for the file viewer web part and click on it

    You will then be able to either upload a file or choose from a file in your OneDrive, site, or from a link. If you still need to upload the file, then choose that option.

    Choose the upload file option and choose the file from your computer

    After uploading the file, you will be able to add it to the file viewer, which will then look like this:

    Showing the employee directory using the file viewer web part

    If you want to add some changes to it, you can simply open the document right inside SharePoint itself. You can also spice it up with images.

    It’s simple and rudimentary, though it gets the job done if you don’t have a lot of requirements for the employee directory.

    2. Use the “Organization chart” web part

    The last option I suggest is the “Organization” web part that allows you to create a dynamic organization chart on the page.

    Here’s how it looks:

    Miriam Graham as the directory of the sample organization chart

    The advantage here is that you can control the levels of hierarchy you want to show while still taking advantage of how users can see more information about each employee.

    The downside to this is that you can’t add external users to the organization chart. In addition, people usually use this to display leadership only.

    Create your own SharePoint employee directory

    If you want to create a list-type, dynamic employee directory that can have pictures of your employees, then the first option I gave is better.

    On the downside, it involves a lot of things you need to do starting from creating a list and adding other columns to the list.

    If “simplicity is the key” for you, then using the file viewer web part is more than sufficient for your needs.

    Otherwise, if you wanted to display the leadership, then the organization part may prove to be more helpful and easier to set up.

    Do you have some questions regarding how to create a SharePoint employee directory? If so, ask away in the comment section below.

    For inquiries and concerns, please use the site’s contact form to reach out and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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    2 months ago

    All of these options will require lots of maintenance as you will have to update it everytime a user changes positions leaves the company or when you hire a new person. Is there not a way to sync it with AD? The only option that wouldn’t require ‘ a lot’ of maintenance is the ‘organizational chart’ but still with this option you have to create it by entering a persons name and not their position so if you have the CEO move positions you would have to update this. Also for a staff directory users will need to filter by… Read more »

    Reply to  josh
    3 hours ago

    I’m also very interested in a solution to minimise maintenance, possibly sync with Active Directory, and the search functionality. If anyone else finds any solutions, I’d be very keen to hear it! There has to be a way?

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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