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The Unsung Heroes: IT's Contributions Go Unrecognized

Written By Michael Ferrara

Created on 2023-04-06 16:28

Published on 2023-04-11 12:15

As the five IT department members sat in the break room during lunch, the topic of employee contribution awards came up. Each member had been with the company for several years, and each had come to the same realization - they would never receive an employee contribution award.

"Man, I can't believe they're giving out those awards again," said Mike, the team lead. "What do we have to do to get recognized around here?"

"I don't think they even know what we do," replied Sarah, the network administrator. "We're always the first to blame when something is wrong, but never get credit when things turn out right. The aftermath of these awards feels like someone who lost the pageant and is bitter."

"I hear you," said Juan, the software developer. "They don't see us as a strategic asset. They see us as a necessary evil."

"They see us as cost centers, not revenue generators," said Emily, the database administrator. "But without us, the whole company would stop."

"Yeah, it's like we're the unsung heroes," added Kevin, the help desk technician. "We keep everything running smoothly, but nobody notices until something breaks."

As they commiserated over their lack of recognition, the conversation turned to what they could do to change things. They brainstormed ideas for highlighting their contributions, from creating a quarterly report on their accomplishments to organizing a company-wide demonstration of their latest projects.

Although they may never receive an employee contribution award, the IT department was determined to make their value known and get the recognition they deserved.

What are Employee Contribution Awards?

Employee contribution awards are an essential way for companies to recognize and celebrate their staff's hard work and dedication. These awards acknowledge employees who excel above and beyond their regular duties. They are vital to the company's overall success.

Brief overview of IT Department roles in a Company

The Information Technology (IT) department plays a critical role in the modern business landscape. They are responsible for managing a company's technological infrastructure, implementing and maintaining software systems, and ensuring valuable data security and privacy. IT departments enable seamless communication, collaboration, and operations throughout an organization.

Explanation of the Problem

Despite their significant contributions, IT departments are often overlooked when awarding employee contribution awards. This can lead to a lack of recognition and appreciation for IT employees' hard work and dedication, which can, in turn, impact employee morale and motivation.

Addressing this issue is critical because recognizing the value and impact of IT departments is essential to fostering a positive work environment. This is essential to encourage IT employees to strive for excellence in their roles.

The Perception of IT Departments

IT departments are often unfairly saddled with negative stereotypes, such as being portrayed as introverted, socially awkward, or solely focused on fixing technical issues. These misconceptions can contribute to the lack of recognition for IT departments, as they may be seen as less personable or relatable than other departments within a company.

Many employees outside of IT departments may not fully understand the scope and importance of their colleagues' IT work. This lack of understanding can lead to diminished appreciation for IT departments' contributions.

IT departments are often perceived as cost centers due to maintenance expenses. This perception can overshadow the fact that IT departments play a crucial role in driving efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness. These attributes are all essential to a company's success.

The Contribution of IT Departments

IT departments are vital for ensuring the smooth functioning of a company's technology infrastructure. This in turn enables all other departments to operate effectively. Their responsibilities include maintaining hardware and software, managing data storage and security, and providing technical support for employees.

Some examples of IT departments' critical contributions include:

IT departments play a vital role in company success by enabling efficient operations, driving innovation, and facilitating communication and collaboration. They also help safeguard a company's reputation and competitiveness by ensuring data privacy and security.

Why IT Departments are Often Passed Up

IT departments often work behind the scenes to ensure technology runs smoothly. As a result, their efforts and accomplishments may not be as visible to other employees and departments. This can make it harder for them to receive recognition for their contributions.

Measuring the direct impact of IT departments on a company's bottom line can be challenging. This difficulty can lead to a perception that IT departments are less valuable than other departments that have more easily quantifiable contributions to revenue or profit generation.

IT departments are sometimes seen as purely providing support for other departments, rather than playing a strategic role in driving company growth and success. This perception can result in IT departments being overlooked when acknowledging their contributions to the organization.

The Importance of Recognizing IT Departments

Recognizing IT employees' hard work and achievements can significantly improve morale and job satisfaction. This recognition can lead to increased productivity, reduced turnover, and a more positive work environment.

When IT employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to perform at their best. They are also more likely to seek out opportunities for growth and development. This motivation can lead to increased innovation and efficiency within the IT department and the company as a whole.

Recognizing the contributions of all departments, including IT, helps create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment. This affirmation fosters unity and shared purpose, which contributes to company success.

How to Recognize IT Departments

Companies can create recognition programs specifically designed for IT employees, such as awards for innovative problem-solving, outstanding customer support, or exceptional contributions to cybersecurity.

Organizations can showcase IT departments' accomplishments and successes through newsletters, internal announcements, or social media posts. This visibility can help raise awareness of the critical role IT departments play within the company.

Companies can offer platforms for IT employees to present their projects, achievements, or successes to the rest of the organization. These opportunities can help other employees better understand the value and impact of IT department work.


Recognizing IT departments is crucial for fostering a positive work environment, motivating employees, and acknowledging their significant contributions to a company's success.

Companies must take proactive steps to ensure IT departments receive recognition. This can be accomplished by developing tailored recognition programs, increasing visibility, and providing opportunities for IT employees to showcase their work.

By acknowledging the vital role IT departments play in an organization, companies can create a more inclusive, supportive, and successful work environment. This recognition will not only benefit IT employees but also contribute to the company's overall success and growth.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People by Gary Chapman and Paul White, is available in paperback form.