Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Report from Staff?
A report from staff is a document with information and updates on the status of the team or the project itself. It contains salient information that will keep team leaders and executives aware on what is happening in the business.
Who does the Report?
Primarily, the staffs, or the members of the business team, do the business report, which will be submitted to the team leaders. The team leaders are also delegated to provide reports to their superiors, usually the executive officers, to provide a summative account of what the minor staffs have done. Also, the executive officers also generate a report, which will be submitted to the chief executive officer, who has the general oversight of the business operations.
Why do Staffs do Reports?
Staffs generate reports for their superiors for the following reasons.
The primary reason in doing reports is communication. Staffs write reports to communicate essential information to the leaders of the team, enabling them to be fully informed and updated on the events in the team and in the business.
The achievements, plans, and issues of the business team are also shared in the staff reports. This to let the team members and leaders know what the team has accomplished within a specific time frame. With the information in the report, team leaders will be able to compare data between previous and current reports, analyze data, make inferences and conclusions, and make rational decisions.
How to do Reports from Staff / Ways to do Reports from Staff?
Reports from staff present vital and helpful information about the undertakings, routines, standing, and development of the business team and the project itself.
In writing the report, staffs include primarily their achievements, issues, and plans. The achievements set the milestone of the entire team, while motivating and inspiring the team to do better. The team’s issues, on the other hand, are included in the report for the team to identify them easily. Early identification of problems allows the team to rank them in order of priority. Also, this enables the team to solve actual issues and prevent potential issues. The goals of the team are also inculcated in the report to provide direction to the team’s future actions.
In addition to the achievements, problems, and goals, the business team may also include new or additional information about the status and development of the team and the business. These can be linked to the information noted in the previous reports.
Advantages of Reports from Staff
Reports from staff are advantageous to the business team for the following reasons.
Staffs are able to communicate important matters and issues about the team’s status and progress in the reports they make. By including complete, accurate, and updated information, the members of the team will be able to formulate concrete plans, develop efficient strategies, and execute effective actions.
Issues and weaknesses can be prioritized by the members and leaders of the team via the reports from staff. Actual problems are the existing problems faced by the team while potential problems are those issues that may become actual problems in the future.
Disadvantages of Reports from Staff
While reports from staff can be advantageous in big ways, there are also circumstances in which it can be disadvantageous to the business team.
Doing reports about the status and progress of the team and the business can be tedious and time-consuming. Instead of focusing on the current tasks and responsibilities, the members of the team will have the tendency to focus their attention on generating the report, which can result to the inability to complete their regular tasks and responsibilities.
Another disadvantage of doing reports from staff is that it can be costly, especially to teams like the start-up teams. This suggests that they might not have enough funds and it can be a pain for the team to add the printing costs of the report to their overall expenses.
Best Practices for doing Reports from Staff
Reports from staff help team members, leaders, and affiliates to become completely knowledgeable, updated, and wary on the status and progress of the group and the business project itself.
Completeness, accuracy, and factuality of the information noted in the report are vital in the integrity of the entire staff report. To preserve these qualities, team members and leaders can use a notepad so that they can easily jot down important information or events that the team has encountered within a certain time frame.
Organization is another key element in report writing. To maintain the organization of data, the members and leaders of the team can use headings and sub-headings that will guide the readers as they scan information in the report. Also, they can use bullets in listing data, which can be more efficient than the narrative style, especially if the report is long.
The presentation of quantitative data is also a plus in doing reports from staff. Quantitative data involves numbers and figures, which can be best presented using data tools, such as graphs, charts, tables, and diagrams. These are more effective than using the narrative approach, which is usually used in conveying descriptive or quantitative data.
In order to put emphasis on important information, team members and leaders may have important details in bold, italics, and underlined format. This way, the readers will be able to easily locate and see salient information in the report, especially those that need to be clarified.
Data clarification is another good practice in doing reports from staff. Integrity of data in the report serves as foundation of the team’s plans, strategies, and actions. By thoroughly checking the information in the report, errors can easily be identified and corrected.
How Teamreporter helps Staffs at doing Reports
Teamreporter is an application that aims to reduce the number of status meetings of a team by using scheduled report mails. Teams with up to four members can use the application for free and signing up just takes up to less than a minute.
Teamreporter’s interface is automated and user-friendly, which allows team members and leaders to easily send and receive important information and updates to the other members of the team. Teamreporter sends them e-mail notifications, which asks them to send essential information, such as their achievements, plans, and problems. Then, based on their answers, Teamreporter will generate a data summary, which will be sent to the team the following day.
Another benefit of using Teamreporter is its flexibility, which allows users to change the questions and the schedule of the report mails in the application’s database. Also, the list of members who will receive the updates, along with the list of those who need to send reports, can also be modified by users. It can also be used by the team via web browser or e-mail, along with the existing applications that are used by the team.
Team leaders can also gain advantage from using Teamreporter as they can gain complete oversight of the team from the reports of the team members. They will be able to evaluate the different teams of the company, as well as the staffs of each team. With Teamreporter’s data, team leaders will also be able to check the team members’ performance, enabling them to know those who perform well and those who need help. They can also use Teamreporter’s updates when they make their reports or their training modules.
Alternatives to Reports from Staff
While reports from staffs can be supportive to the business team, there are other alternatives that the business team can consider when doing business reports.
E-mail reports and updates can be viewed as effective alternatives to reports from staff. With a computer or smartphone and stable internet connection, team members and leaders will be able to send and receive information and updates to and from other members of the team. However, poor or absent internet connection will disable members and leaders from disseminating information.
Another alternative to reports from staffs is the conduct of a live meeting as team members and leaders will be able to discuss important matters about the team’s status and progress. Concerns will be raised directly during the meeting, which allows members and leaders to immediate provide an action or a response. Nonetheless, this approach may not be applicable to virtual or asynchronous teams, as their members are dispersed in various locales and time zones.
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