Grace Smith
January 8, 2024

Employee engagement is a crucial issue for companies today, highlighted by The Economist in their "Reinventing the Company" feature. Engaged employees are essential for creating value, yet fostering this engagement is not a task that can be forced. It requires dedication and a positive approach. The impact of employee engagement is clear: highly engaged teams are more profitable, and companies with higher engagement outperform their counterparts significantly.

  • 27% of workers said they'd take a new position if it meant having the chance to undertake more fulfilling work.
  • Teams in company that are highly engaged are 21% more profitable.
  • Companies with high employee engagement perform 202% better than those with low employee engagement.

Understanding this, we have gathered the top 101 employee engagement quotes to underscore its importance in the workplace.

1. Timothy R. Clark - Author and Thought Leader

Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.

2. John Wooden - Legendary Basketball Coach

A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.

3. Kevin Kruse - Author and Speaker

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.

4. Tim Clark - Author and Speaker

You have to want to be engaged. There has to be a deep-seated desire in your heart and mind to participate, to be involved, and to make a difference. If the desire isn’t there, no person or book can plant it within you.

5. David Zinger - Engagement Speaker, Coach, Consultant

Create caring and robust connections between every employee and their work, customers, leaders, managers, and the organization to achieve results that matter to everyone in this sentence.

6. Stephen R. Covey - Educator and Author

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.

7. Dale Carnegie - Popular Self-Improvement Writer and Lecturer

Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could be yours.

8. Steve Jobs - Former CEO of Apple

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

9. Patrick Lencioni - Author

When leaders throughout an organization take an active, genuine interest in the people they manage, when they invest real time to understand employees at a fundamental level, they create a climate for greater morale, loyalty, and yes, growth.

10. Angela Ahrendts - Former Senior VP of Apple

Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.

11. Arthur Ashe - Legendary Tennis Player

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

12. Thomas Jefferson - Third President of The United States

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. 

13. Joshua J. Marine - Author and Motivational Speaker

"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

14. Harry Golden - American Writer and Newspaper Publisher

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”

15. Helen Keller - Legendary American Author

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”

16. Henry Ford - American Industrialist and Business Magnate

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

17. Anne Frank - German Diarist

“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

18. Tony Robbins - American Author and Coach

The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.

19. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." – African Proverb

20. Michael Larsen - American Mathematician

“A diamond is a piece of coal that is stuck to the job.”

21. Harry S. Truman - 33rd American President

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit”.

22. Federman, Author

Paychecks can't buy passion.

23. Maya Angelou - American Memoirist and Poet

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

24.  Stephen Covey - American Educator and Author

“Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you.”

25. Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Apple Inc.

“Performance management involves embracing employees’ strengths and being open to innovative ideas – even ones that change the status quo.”

26. Tim Flores, former American football coach.

"A total commitment is paramount to reaching the ultimate in performance."

27. Peter F. Drucker, Educator and Author.

"The fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change."

28. Harjeet Khanduja, Author.

"Performance management is so tightly integrated with the business that business has no option but to do it on its own."

29. Sameer Nagarajan, Global President- HR, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.

"Performance management continues to be an important cornerstone of business and individual growth and development."

30. Mae West, Author.

"An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises."

31. Ralph Marston, Author.

"Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations."

32. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Author.

"Being relaxed, at peace with yourself, confident, emotionally neutral, loose, and free-floating – these are the keys to successful performance in almost everything."

33. Vinod Bidwaik, Author.

"Transparency and openness are key to any effective performance management system."

34. Beth Brooke, Public Accountant.

"We all know business financial performance improves when more women are in senior levels of management and leadership."

35. Pearl Zhu, Author.

"The “self-driven” talent performance management is pursuing the digital way to run a purpose-driven organization."

36. Adil Malia, CEO and Partner, The Firm.

"A performance management system is very critical to keep an ongoing track on the returns of the enterprise on its investment in people resources."

37. Dave Ulrich, Author.

"Good performance accountability is about having a positive conversation between manager and employee. A manager is a coach and communicator, not a command and controller."

38. Kevin Lyons, Former cricketer.

"A really effective performance management program is closely entwined with the needs of the organization and looks at talent development as central to the conversation, as well as embracing regular discussion and feedback."

39. W. Edwards Deming, Engineer and Statistician.

"Performance management should be measured by the potential to stay in business, to protect investment, to ensure future dividends and jobs through the improvement of product and services for the future, not by the quarterly dividend."

40. Bill Belichick, General Manager, The New England Patriots.

"What we can control is our performance and our execution, and that's what we're going to focus on."

41. Steven Sinofsky, Former president, Windows Division at Microsoft.

"As much as we think of performance management as numeric and thus perfectly quantifiable, it is as much a product of context and social science as the products we design and develop."

42. Zig Ziglar, Author.

"Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company."

43. Colin Mendes, Head HR, VoltasBeko.

"Performance management starts from the top by tailoring strategies which can be translated into meaningful targets, and trickles down to managers for setting goals & making this process effective by helping them understand the big picture and owning up careers of their team members."

44. Rohit Sahu, Head HR, Hughes Systique Corporation.

"Performance management is about getting employees engaged & imbibing in them a sense of ownership & pride."

45. Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker.

"The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance."

46. Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway.

"In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."

47. Charles R. Schwab, Founder and chairman, the Charles Schwab Corporation.

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement."

48. W. Edwards Deming, Eminent Professor, Author, Lecturer, and management consultant.

"A manager of people needs to understand that all people are different. This is not ranking people. He needs to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management."

49. Travis Bradberry, Bestselling Author.

"When companies create ridiculous and demoralizing rules to halt the outlandish behavior of a few individuals, it's a management problem. There's no sense in alienating your entire workforce because you don't know how to manage performance. It makes a bad situation that much worse."

50. Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup.

"To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace."

51. Simon Sinek, Author, Motivational Speaker

"When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute."

52. Ian Hutchinson, Author of People Glue.

"Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last."

53. Aristotle - Ancient Greek Philosopher and Polymath

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."

54. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization.

"Business and human endeavors are systems. We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved."

55. David Packard, late co-founder of Hewlett-Packard.

"A group of people get together and exist as an institution we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately – they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental."

56. Anne M. Mulcahy, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox

"Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability."

57. Marilyn Carlson, former CEO of Carlson Companies.

"On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work."

58. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE.

"There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it."

59. Zig Ziglar, Author

"This is the only country in the world where today’s employee is tomorrow’s employer."

60. Sybil F. Stershic, Author, Marketing Expert

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers."

61. Tracy Streckenbach, Operating Partner, Gridiron Capital LLC., said in an interview with the New York Times

"Clear Goals Matter More than Mission."

62. Tracy Streckenbach, Operating Partner, Gridiron Capital LLC.

"Culture is about performance, and making people feel good about how they contribute to the whole."

63. Pamela Stroko in Tanveer Naseer’s blog post, How Leaders are Creating Engagement in Today’s Workplaces.

"People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That’s the new talent contract."

64. David Zinger, Let’s Co-Create an Employee Engagement Charter, The Employee Engagement Network.

"Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results."

65. Meghan M. Biro, Your Employees are Engaged...REALLY?, Forbes.

"Employees engage with employers and brands when they’re treated as humans worthy of respect."

66. Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard, Do People Really Know What You Expect from Them?, Fast Company.

"Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job."

67. Ben Simonton, author of Leading People To Be Highly Motivated And Committed.

"TURNED ON people figure out how to beat the competition, TURNED OFF people only complain about being beaten by the competition."

68. Stephen R. Covey, Author, Educator.

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

69. Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld, Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times.

"It’s sad, really, how a negative workplace can impact our lives and the way we feel about ourselves. The situation is reaching pandemic heights – most people go to work at jobs they dislike, supervised by people who don’t care about them, and directed by senior leaders who are often clueless about where to take the company."

70. Timothy R. Clark, The 5 Ways That Highly Engaged Employees are Different.

"Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it."

71. Francis Hesselbein, Hesselbein on Leadership.

"Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world."

72. Napoleon Hill, American Author

"Everyone enjoys doing the kind of work for which he is best suited."

73. Anne M. Mulcahy, former Chairperson and CEO, Xerox

"Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability."

74. Bob Nelson, Speaker, World Leading Authority on Employee Recognition and Engagement

"Take time to appreciate employees and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways."

75. Doug Conant, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

"To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace."

76. Angela Ahrendts

"Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first."

77. Simon Sinek, Author, Motivational Speaker

"When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute."

78. Greg Harris, CEO, Quantum Workplace

"Engaging the hearts, minds, and hands of talent is the most sustainable source of competitive advantage."

79. Kevin Kruse, American Historian, Professor

"Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals."

80. Richard Branson, British Business Magnate

"If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers. It's that simple."

81. Horst Schulze, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Capella Hotel Group

"Employees who are controlled cannot respond caringly, you need superior knowledge and real leadership, not management. Because of this we specifically developed a selection process for leaders; we don't hire managers."

82. Jack Welch, Former CEO, General Electric

"There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow."

83. Zig Ziglar, Author

"You don't build a business. You build people, and people build the business."

84. Jim Whitehurst, Interim President CEO, Unity Technologies

"Employee engagement is the art of getting people to believe what you want them to believe."

85. Russel Honore, Retired Lt. General

"When you form a team, why do you try to form a team? Because teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed."

86. Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian Polymath

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

87. Tom Peters, American Writer

"The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity."

88. Sybil F. Stershic, Author

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers."

89. Walt Disney

"Happy employees lead to happy customers, which leads to more profits."

90. Simon Sinek, Author, Motivational Speaker

"The role of the leader is not to come up with all the great ideas but to create an environment in which great ideas can happen."

91. Brad Federman, Author

"Paychecks can't buy passion."

92. Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

93. Ian Hutchinson, Authored People Glue

"Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of staying in business."

94. Ian Hutchinson again

"Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last."

95. Voltaire, French Writer

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

96. Plato, Greek Philosopher

"Caring about the happiness of others, we find our own."

97. Tony Hsieh, Former CEO, Zappos

"We think it's important for employees to have fun... it drives employee engagement."

98. Simon Sinek, Author, Motivational Speaker

"Profit isn't a purpose, it's a result. To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others."

99. Voltaire, French Writer

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

100. Unknown

"Believe in your people and they will believe in themselves."

101. Steve Jobs

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do."

Concluding Thoughts on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is pivotal in cultivating a dedicated and effective workforce. The diverse range of quotes compiled in this article serves as powerful testament to the impact of engagement in the workplace. These insights underscore the critical role of employee engagement in driving motivation, innovation, and overall organizational success. They reinforce the idea that when employees are deeply engaged, satisfied, and connected to their work, they transform into more passionate, committed, and enthusiastic contributors, propelling the organization towards greater heights.