Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

What Is a Direct Report?

Businesses and other organisation structures necessitate that some employees manage others. Those in management are referred to as managers, supervisors and directors, just to name a few. Those who report to them are considered subordinates, employees or direct reports. A direct report is another name for a subordinate and is one who reports directly to his immediate boss.


The direct report is often responsible for completing the work assigned to him by the manager. This may be direct front-line work as in the case of a customer service representative responsible for resolving customer requests. It could also be project based work as in the instructions given to a vice president from a chief executive officer to grow the revenues of a product line. The responsibilities of a direct report are varied.

Assignment Completion

A direct report is to complete the work assigned by the manager. He is to complete it to the best of his ability. During the project, he is expected to ask the manager questions such as: Why does the work need to be done? What other departments will be impacted by the work? When is the deadline for completion? Who else can assist? The direct report is expected to keep the manager informed about the status of the project and ask for assistance where needed.

Work Ethic

The direct report is expected to conduct himself in a professional manner. He must arrive to work on time and dressed appropriately. In meetings, he is expected to be involved, engaged and contribute to the team's efforts. He is expected to be at work each day unless he has pre-scheduled the time off. The direct report must always be aware that each day is a job interview for the next position he pursues. The manager holds the direct report accountable for his actions and his areas of responsibility.

Manager Expectations

The direct report can expect that the manager will assist him with career development. This means that the manager will work with him to further enhance his current skills and help him develop new skills. During performance appraisals and one-on-one meetings, the manager is expected to provide honest feedback with specific examples of "a job well done" and behaviours that can be improved. The manager should also suggest training classes, developmental assignments and resources that the direct report can use to further develop his skills. The direct report should also expect the manager to be supportive and not criticise the direct report to others.


Each employee in the organisation is a direct report to their manager regardless of the title.