Direct Reports

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As you gain experience, you may have the opportunity to advance in your career path. This may involve becoming in charge of one or two employees in your team. In this setup, your responsibility does not rest on your work performance alone. Now, part of your scope is to lead, mentor, and guide your direct reports. 

What are direct reports? 

Direct reports are common in the corporate setting, especially if an organization has a traditional organizational structure or framework. As the term implies, a direct report is an employee who is managed by and reports directly to another person whose designation in the company is immediately above or higher. A direct report is commonly managed by a supervisor, manager, or another role depending on how the organization is structured. The leader who is in charge of direct reports is responsible for task assignments, direction, feedback, and evaluation of their work performance. 

For example, a company’s sales manager may have three team sales team leaders as direct reports. Similarly, these sales team leaders may each have several sales associates who report to them. 

What kind of organizations have direct reports? 

Companies big or small may have direct reports. These are the organizations that utilize a traditional framework that typically looks like a hierarchy. In this structure, there is usually a position that branches downward, each having direct reports of their own. The general idea is that the higher an individual is in the hierarchy, the wider the span of control, and possibly the more direct reports. 

When it comes to how many direct reports a manager should have, other factors also come into play. How complex is the work? Usually, if the work is repetitive and does not require advanced skills, one manager can be in charge of a large group. Another factor is the manager’s level of experience. An individual may not have sufficient experience or training in mentoring many direct reports. This manager may be more effective with leading a small team.

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