Direct Report: Definition and Difference From Indirect Report

Soon-to-be-former employees are finding themselves in exit interviews with HR representatives as the number of workers leaving their jobs rises amid the Great Resignation. HR representatives are hoping to get a better understanding of what’s happening inside the company and frequently discover things that management was unaware of after the fact. According to Yuletta Pringle, knowledge advisor at the Society for Human Resources Management, exit interviews are “a way to find out what is happening, or what has happened, that may be motivating this employee to leave.”

However, as the conversation above demonstrates, these discussions might be too little, too late. More than half of the workers polled in a recent Gallup study claimed that no one, not even their manager, had inquired about how they were feeling in their position in the final three months before they left. And 52% of departing workers emphasized that their manager or company could have taken action to keep them from quitting their jobs.

I can vouch for these findings having coached hundreds of workers in career transition for more than ten years. Numerous clients have expressed to me their desire for their employer to have questioned them in order to support their development prior to their resignation. They preferred that their manager pose these inquiries up front rather than having HR do so after the fact.

How To Conduct a 1:1 Meeting With Your Direct Reports

Who has a direct report?

When a company has a traditional organizational structure with many departments, direct reports are typically used. This is particularly common in large businesses with numerous employees to monitor. Organizations delegate authority to each department, which in turn has a number of direct reports who may also be responsible for managing their own direct reports. The majority of the time, positions in the top tier of the corporate hierarchy have direct reports.

Some positions that have a direct report include:

What is a direct report?

An employee who receives orders from a manager or someone higher up in a company’s hierarchical organizational structure is known as a direct report. The direct reportee is the person to whom they report. Their manager gives them work assignments, keeps track of their overall work performance, and gives them feedback. Usually, there are several people working for a single person as a direct report. Direct reports can still hold a high position even though they work for higher positions. For instance, the CEO of a software company reports to the vice president of that company, who also oversees a number of direct reports.

Why are direct reports important?

A direct reports system is used by businesses to assign tasks and keep track of performance. Direct reports carry out necessary tasks for an organization to achieve its overall objective. Having an organizational structure is crucial for large businesses with numerous demands.

Some of the benefits of having direct reports include:

How to get to know your direct report

Building a relationship with your direct report is beneficial for your success as a direct reportee. Follow these steps to get to know your direct report:

1. Schedule a one-on-one

Set up a meeting with your direct report to go over their progress. You can use this time to familiarize yourself with your direct report and get to know them better. Make an effort to plan frequent check-ins so that your direct report feels approachable and is aware of your expectations for them.

2. Join an assignment

Consider participating in a project with your direct report to gain an understanding of what they do. You can gain a better understanding of your direct report’s operations by working alongside them and shadowing them as they carry out daily tasks. Additionally, it demonstrates your concern for what they do and your view of them as an equal.

3. Maintain consistent communication

Communicate with your direct report frequently to discuss any concerns or issues they may have at work, even outside of one-on-one meetings. Inquire about the status of their project so you are aware of how they are performing. Make sure your direct report is aware of your preferred methods of communication so they can reach you directly via email or in person.

4. Outline your goals

Inform your direct report of your priorities so that they can assist you in achieving them. Clarifying their responsibilities can facilitate their productivity at work. Think about establishing both short-term and long-term objectives to concentrate your efforts on, utilizing your special skills.

5. Attend socializing events

Take advantage of any socializing opportunities your company offers, such as holiday parties or happy hours, to get to know your direct report. You can become friends with your direct report and strengthen your relationship during this time. This could be an opportunity to discover more about your direct report’s personality, including their interests and hobbies.

6. Earn their trust

Earning people’s trust is one of the most crucial steps in developing relationships with them. By letting your direct report take responsibility for their work and demonstrating that you trust them, you can help them develop trust.

7. Get a candy jar

Investing in a candy dish or original piece of art for your desk can help you establish a rapport with your direct report. A candy dish or other conversation starter can also encourage a casual exchange with your direct report. In order to learn more about your direct report, think about asking them about something on their desk.

Direct report vs. indirect report

In addition to direct reports, some organizations have indirect reports. Although they both report to a superior, the hierarchical structure of the roles is slightly different. Here are some examples of how direct reports and indirect reports differ:

Who reports to who

An indirect report reports to a direct report while a direct report reports to a supervisor. As the person who manages the direct report, the direct reportee is also responsible for the indirect report.

Number reporting to a supervisor

A supervisor typically has between 10 and 15 direct reports and between 20 and 100 indirect reports. Since everyone in the organizational structure below your direct reports is considered an indirect report, the number of indirect reports increases.


While an indirect report is not personally managed by a direct reportee, the latter is accountable for managing a direct report. Direct reports manage indirect reports and delegate them with assignments. Because of this, a direct report may both manage and report to others.


What is a direct Reportees?

An employee who works for another person and is managed by them is known as a direct report. She has a dozen direct reports, but manages many more people.

What is meant by Reportees?

reportee (plural reportees) One who, or that which, is reported.

What do you call a person who reports to you?

People you directly report to at work are referred to as “Direct Reports” in formal language. When I was employed and had DRs, I typically referred to them by their first names: Luis, Martin, Ytalo, John, Brian, Sarah, Lauren, Kent, Derek, Erin, or whatever – there were a lot of them over the years.

What are direct report responsibilities?

When direct reports have their own direct reports, they are in charge of overseeing the productivity of lower-level workers. In either case, their employer formally acknowledges their authority.

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