In simple terms, a direct report is an employee who is managed by and reports to someone else immediately up the line of dominance in the organizational structure. Apart from answering to s manager or supervisor, direct reports can hold various positions of authority themselves as well, depending on the organizational structure of the organization.
An employee who reports to someone else is a direct report. They might also have employees who report to them, who will be their direct reports For instance, a director might have five managers who report directly to him. They are considered his direct reports.
In the present article we are going to discuss on caring about direct reports.
Some employers are unskilled in dealing with their direct reports. They tend to hesitant while making decisions.
They have the following characteristics –
- May not bother much about the personal requirements of direct reports.
- May not be available to know much about direct reports.
- May be of the belief that work and personal life should not be kept together.
- May be more concerned about work than others.
- May be very upset and indifferent with direct reports.
- May deficit the listening skills or interest to know their hopes and problems.
Those who are skilled –
- Are interested in the work and non-work lives of direct reports.
- Ask about their plans, problems, and desires.
- Know about their concerns and questions.
- Are available for listening to personal problems.
- Monitor workloads and appreciates extra effort.
Overused Skills –
There are still others who overuse their skills. They –
- May have trouble being strict with direct reports.
- May give them too much room for excuses.
- May not provoke them to perform beyond their comfort zone.
- May get too involved in their lives.
- May not be able to make commands on performance and potential.
- May not know when to stop showing care when efforts are declined.
The Plan –
Caring for others is very important. People who are cared for repay that care to others. People who are shown care, work more effectively for the people who show that care. They feel better and are more positive to be around and work with than people who are ignored. Caring about direct reports doesn’t have to be a soft or guiding activity. It just means trying to show reasonable concern for direct reports in every way possible to help them perform and grow.
At the organizational level, good managers know much more about their employees other than the work they do. They know a little about their past, a little about their present situation, and a little about their dreams and wishes.
They detect the early indications of problems before they become serious, and are quick to help others perform better by removing hindrances They help by developing their direct reports and giving them unfavorable feedback to help them grow. At the deeper level, good managers show care about direct reports because they actually care. Managing the direct reports will always be rewarded with better performance and a better feeling for the manager.
Some Remedies –
- Caring Is listening – Many bosses are negligible listeners. They are action oriented and more likely to interrupt when others are speaking, than listen. They act impatient and complete other people’s sentences for them when they are reluctant to do so. All these anxious behaviors show signs of lack of caring. It’s being insensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Infact, they should listen longer.
- Caring Is Sharing And Disclosing – A manager should share his views on a business issue and welcome the advice of direct reports. Pass on information you think will help people do their jobs better or broaden their perspective. Disclose things that are not necessary for people to do their jobs, but which will be exciting to them and help them feel worthy. Reveal some things about yourself as well. It’s hard to relate to unemotional people. Tell them how you arrive at decisions. Clarify your intentions, your reasons, and your thinking when taking decisions. If you offer solutions first, you invite objection and feelings of not being cared about.
- Caring Is knowing – Caring about direct reports includes knowing their interests and hobbies or their children or something you can chat about. Life is a small world. If you ask your people a few personal questions, you’ll find you have something in common with virtually anyone. Having something in common will help link the relationship.
- Caring Is Accepting – Try to listen without judging initially. Don’t agree or disagree at the beginning. Just listen to understand. Do not offer advice or solutions unless it’s obvious the person wants to know what you would do. Although giving quick solutions is a good thing to do in many circumstances, it’s scary where the aim is to get people to talk to you more freely.
- Caring Is Understanding – Study the people you work with. Without reaching a decision, collect evidence on how they think and what they do. What drives them to do what they do? Try to imagine what they will do in a particular situations. Use this to understand how to relate to them. What are their issues. What would they like you to care about?
- Caring Is Wondering – Show you care what they think. Many people don’t inquire much when they are working. There are too many probing or informational questions and not enough “what if,” “what are you learning, ”what would you change,” questions.
- Caring Is Treating People Differently – Caring about direct reports is not treating them equally, it’s treating them equitably. People are different. They have different needs. They respond differently to you. They have different dreams and concerns. Each person is unique and feels best when treated uniquely.
- Caring is being concerned without becoming a therapist:
- If someone brings you all his problems on a regular basis, pick one you think you can help with and ask him to seek counseling or employee assistance for the others.
- If someone repeats things, interrupt but summarize. This signals you heard him/her, but keeps him/her from consuming time.
- If someone is angry, let him express without saying anything other than you know he is upset. It’s difficult for most people to continue very long with no motivation or encouragement. If he keeps on, invite him to talk with you outside of work hours.
- If someone is complaining all the time, ask him to write down his problems and solutions, and then discuss it. This turns down the volume while hopefully moving him complaining.
- If someone wants to complain about someone else, inquire if he has talked to the person. If not then encourage him to do so. If that doesn’t work, summarize what he said without agreeing or disagreeing, which will add still more time to the discussion.
- If someone is demotivated, focus on challenging job tasks and variety in his work. Ask what excitement on the job looks like to him.
- Caring Is Signaling That You Care – Watch out for unintentionally signaling to people that you don’t care. If you say that you leave the details to others, it might mean to your direct reports that what you do is not important. If you show you are not organized, it might mean you are left to pick up the pieces and if you say you’ve always believed in taking action then sorting, it might mean you have to deal with the havoc, to your direct reports. Think about the impact on them when you speak.
- Make A List Of Your Previous Bosses – Separate your previous employers according to the way they least cared about you or cared the most about you and other members of the team. What was the reaction or the group that was less cared for? What did they do that showed they cared or didn’t care? Compare these analysis to how you behave as a manager.
Managing well requires developing many different skills, among which is the ability to show care and appreciation for your employees. It’s important to remember that the people who work for you have hopes, goals, and aspirations as well as fears, anxieties, and doubts. To have good associations with your direct reports, you need to identify their humanity and care about them as people and not just as employees. This article describes what is caring about direct reports. Precisely, it marks the behaviors that a caring manager possesses, such as showing genuine interest and an engagement in the lives of employees.