Career & Jobs

Can’t Get No Respect: Study Reveals the Most and Least Valued Company Departments

Most companies say that all employees and departments are valued equally – but is that really true? Research suggests the answer is: not exactly.

A recent study from Skynova looked into just how valued certain departments feel. The survey of 1,010 employees from various organizational departments asked participants about how they think their superiors and peers view them. The results were striking.

HR Values Management — but the Love Isn’t Mutual

Among all departments, HR felt workers feel the most valued by their superiors, with 58 percent reporting that their superiors value them, while 21 percent said they were taken for granted. Not far below that, 54 percent of marketing employees feel valued by their superiors, while 22 percent feel taken for granted. IT came in third at 50 percent, followed by accounting (49 percent), sales (48 percent), management (46 percent), operations (44 percent), and production (41 percent). Production workers were least likely to feel valued by their superiors and the most likely to feel taken for granted.

Skynova’s study also compared how management values each department against how those departments value management. Respondents were asked to grade how much they valued management on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being the most valued. In turn, management was asked to grade each department on the same scale.

Comparing the scores, we see some interesting disparities. Notably, despite HR feeling the most valued by superiors, it was the least valued department by managers, with an average score of 2.21. On the flip side, HR valued management more than any other department, giving management an average score of 1.7. Interestingly, production gave management its lowest score, a 2.15, while management gave production the highest score of all departments, a 1.73.

According to management, operations is the second-most valuable department, with a score of 1.79, and sales comes in third with a 1.85.

The relationship between each department and its superiors is one thing, but how do the different departments feel about one another? As it turns out, the majority of employees in each department feel valued by their peers.

Sixty percent of HR workers felt valued by their peers, followed by marketing (59 percent), sales (57 percent), production (54 percent), accounting (53 percent), IT (52 percent), and operations (50 percent). Though most marketing employees reported feeling valued by their peers, they were also most likely to report feeling taken for granted by their peers (29 percent).

IT Feels Most Respected — While Operations Feels Least

When it comes to interdepartmental respect, the sales department feels the least esteemed, with 28.8 percent saying they feel a lack of respect in the workplace. The production department came in just under that, with 21.7 percent saying they don’t feel respected. On the other hand, IT felt the most respected (only 9.4 percent reported a lack of respect), followed by marketing (12.2 percent reported a lack of respect).

Which departments enjoy the most respect? Nearly 61 percent of IT employees said they feel respect, with management coming in second place (59 percent of managers said they felt respected). Skynova notes that management was also the department most likely to report feeling “extremely respected” in their role.

Unsurprisingly, job level seems to factor heavily into employee’s feelings about respect in the workplace. Entry-level/associate employees were the most likely to report feeling disrespected, with 11 percent saying they felt a lack of respect. Only 3.4 percent of mid-level employees reported a lack of respect, and only 1.9 percent of managers and leaders said the same.

Respected Employees Are Satisfied Employees

One of the most important findings of the survey, though not necessarily the most surprising, is the correlation between job satisfaction and respect. Of those who felt they weren’t at all respected in the workplace, 82.1 percent said they were dissatisfied with their job. Nearly 54 percent of those who felt slightly respected reported being dissatisfied, 18.6 percent of those who felt moderately respected said they were dissatisfied, and 3.5 percent of those who felt extremely respected said they were dissatisfied.

On the flip side, 8.9 percent of those who didn’t feel at all respected in the workplace were satisfied with their job, and 87.9 percent of respondents who felt extremely respected reported being satisfied.

While feeling valued and respected aren’t the only things that contribute to a healthy, productive workplace, organizational leaders should certainly make it a priority to ensure all workers feel appreciated by their peers and supervisors. The happier and more respected your employees feel, the higher your company morale, productivity, and success will be.

Sean Kelly is an analyst researching workplace trends.

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