What Are Direct Reports?

Direct reports are employees who report to a manager or supervisor and are responsible for carrying out delegated tasks as well as meeting performance targets.

Managers with a higher number of direct reports face more challenges when it comes to monitoring, mentoring, and motivating employees. The number of direct reports, known as the span of control, may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the work and the skill and experience of the team members. For instance, a report by Deloitte in 2016 found that the average number of direct reports in the U.S. was 9.7, with larger companies having an average of 11.4. While direct reports may themselves oversee other employees, they remain accountable to their superiors who are ultimately responsible for their performance.