Status reports carry so much more benefit than just a way to measure employee progress. Really, weekly status reports also give employees a chance to demonstrate their abilities. For a brief takeaway, look no further than Reportingadvice's article on the purpose of weekly status reports:
A weekly status report enables managers to track their employees’ performance and progress at all levels. Normally managers do not have the time to talk to every employee about each weekly task in detail due to time shortage. Thus, written weekly reports are an efficient way to communicate all projects, tasks and progresses during a week. This way entry-level employees can demonstrate their performance and progress to the middle management that can forward those reports to their executives. There are several prerequisites though to make weekly reports efficient: It has to be delivered in a timely manner, must be clear and concise. It must be in a format that is informative, straightforward and honest.
In addition, there are many myths about weekly status reports.