What are Direct Reports?
An organizational structure has direct reports are the system whereby employees report to their immediate boss, team leader, supervisor, or manager. Those bosses are then responsible for assigning the tasks to their subordinates and monitoring their performance.
Direct reports bridge the gaps of communication between the higher and the lower tier of the chain of command. The chain of command remains strict as well as easy in several organizational structures and designs.
There are several types of organizational structures and designs, of those the organic are those where the employees working face communication channels at ease and the other is a bureaucratic style where the chain of command is strictly followed. Direct reports are under the dominion of the bureaucratic style of working under a strict chain of command. The span of control is more when there is a bureaucratic management style of organizational culture and design.
Direct reports Vs. Indirect Reports
When managers and supervisors have their assistant managers as subordinates who report and complete tasks under the command and control, the reporting relationship is called direct reports. With this, when assistant managers have their associates under them to report to and work under control and command, it is the further tier of the direct reports.
On the contrary, when associates report to managers bypassing their assistant managers, this is an example of the indirect reporting system.
In direct reports, the managers and supervisors have better control over their subordinates to get work done.
And, in indirect reports the span of control is lessened between the line manager and the subordinate, resulting in result impacts.
What is the meaning of a Reporting Officer?
An officer, manager, supervisor, or team leader who acts as a boss to the subordinates is known as Reporting Officer. Or the controlling authority is the reporting officer. That is also known as a line manager in HR language.
What are the names of the positions which may have direct reports under them?
Some positions which are having direct reports under them are:
- Chief Executive Officers
- Team Leader(s)
- General Managers
- Senior Manager(s)
- Store Owner(s)
- HoDs – Head of Departments
What is the importance of Direct Reports?
Direct Reports are important due to following reasons:
- Command and Control ensured: Through direct reports, strict command and total control are ensured for tasks completions timely as permission and vision of your company.
- Feedback System: Direct reports has the feature of a feedback system when your subordinate give you back work feedback and you can assess your leadership and controlling skills
- Communication made strong: Via direct reports, organizational communication is made strong as there remain information sharing of jobs to do by pre and post job briefing by your supervisors
- Hierarchical Connection amongst the Organization: The organizational hierarchy is made strong through the direct reports as the different levels - from strategic to senior to middle to junior - communicate vertically in a hierarchical connecting way
- Delegation of responsibility as well as Authority: responsibility, as well as authority, is delegated through direct reporting relationships to your subordinates by you being the manager, this way the subordinates enjoin responsibility with enjoying the authority
- Performance Monitoring: It is easy to monitor the performance under your nose than to off see someone working remotely.
- Over-all Business Success: Your overall business success is ensured by direct reports as there is a lesser chance of misreporting or lack of reporting. When there are direct links between the line managers and their subordinates, it eases the processes to devise and follow the standard operating procedures – SOPs – ensuring organizational commitment.
How to manage direct reports?
To effectively manage direct reports it is necessary to consider the following:
- Avoid dictatorship
- Earn and build the trust
- Say the words like we are happy to have you in our team
- Listen to your employees
- Give Authority along with responsibility
- Let your employees own whatever they do
- Know your employees
- Recognize good work
- Schedule one to one meetings with your staff to hear them personally
- You may join your team in their endeavors without being a micromanager
- Make communication consistent
- Define clarity in terms of your organizational and personal goals
- Try to align your goals and your employee's personal goals with the organizational long term objectives
- Clearly define the mission and vision of your company to your employees
- Socialize with your employees by conducting events
- Make your table easily approachable for your subordinates
- Be a good team member
- Be an example for others
- Be a good team lead
How many direct reports should be there?
There should be in routine 10 to 15 numbers of direct reports per one reporting officer. But that is dependent on several factors as mentioned below:
- How much complexity is there in the work to do
- What skills and expertise are required for certain tasks to complete
- How demanding are the timelines and the workload
- What experiences are prerequisites for the assignments to carry on and do you have that
- What are the organizational structure, culture, and design
- Does your organization need any restructuring or otherwise
Moreover, it is pivotal to know for you being an HR Specialist that a manager needs to inspire, counsel and monitor her / his employees under control for smooth operations of your organization whereby keeping in mind the very vision and mission is not compromised and the work is done specifically time-bound and meeting the deadlines for production of units meeting market expectations. This all needs clearer communication with your team members being their leader who is followed itself and does not require to coerce the command, but then again not compromising on the control in all its vital respects.