I'm going to slightly tweak the ever-famous and controversial quote from Oppenheimer - 'Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds' and turn it into a positive quote (because I'm just nice like that) that goes like 'Now I am become HR, the builder of the worlds.' Okay, don't hate me for this, but you know... the blog is titled 'Best HR quotes' and I had to shamelessly plug in one of my quotes (blame the movies for the inspiration).

That said, let's unveil some of the best Human Resources management quotes that we sourced from around the web. We made sure to cite the source of the quote and also took the high road of giving you a movie/book recommendation from where the quote is taken, and also the takeaway from the quote.

1. HR Quote #1:

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

Source: Stephen R. Covey

Imagine if every interaction in the office was as delightful as a puppy receiving belly rubs. Covey's wisdom here is the HR equivalent of that warm, fuzzy feeling, reminding us that the golden rule of kindness isn't just for the playground.


  • Treating employees well increases their engagement, as they feel valued and respected, mirroring the treatment expected towards customers.
  • A positive correlation exists between how employees are treated and their performance levels, emphasizing the importance of a supportive work environment.
  • Acknowledging employees' efforts and treating them well boosts morale and serves as a powerful form of recognition.
  • Demonstrating empathy towards employees by treating them as valuable customers fosters a deeper connection and understanding.
  • The direct link between employee satisfaction and customer service excellence suggests that happy employees lead to happy customers, making employee well-being a priority for customer service success.

Recommendation: Dive into "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey for a masterclass in personal and professional transformation.

3. HR Quote #2:

"Hire character. Train skill."

Source: Peter Schutz

Schutz tells us to scout for the heart of a lion rather than the tricks of a circus tiger. In the grand circus of business, character is the ringmaster, while skills are the acrobats, easily trained.


  • Focusing on character allows for growth in skills and ethics within the workplace, suggesting that inherent qualities are as important as acquired skills.
  • Skills can be trained, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and development in building a competent and adaptable workforce.
  • Building a team with strong core values leads to a stronger, more cohesive work culture, underlining the importance of ethical considerations in hiring.
  • Effective leadership involves recognizing the potential in others and nurturing their growth, highlighting the role of leaders in employee development.
  • Recognizing and developing the inherent qualities of employees maximizes their potential, contributing to personal and organizational success.

Recommendation: "The Driving Force: Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People" by Peter Schutz is your backstage pass to leadership that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

4. HR Quote: #3:

"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance."

Source: Verna Myers

Myers spins the disco ball of truth with this one. It's not enough to just get a nod into the party; you gotta boogie down on the dance floor to feel like you truly belong.


  • True inclusion goes beyond diversity; it involves active engagement and valuing of diverse contributions, enriching the workplace culture.
  • Inclusion practices directly impact employee engagement by making everyone feel part of the team, enhancing teamwork and collaboration.
  • A culture that celebrates diversity and practices inclusion is more innovative and adaptable, showing the business value of a diverse workforce.
  • Practicing empathy by understanding and appreciating the unique contributions of each employee fosters a more inclusive and supportive work environment.
  • Inclusion strengthens team cohesion by ensuring all voices are heard and valued, leading to more effective and harmonious teamwork.

Recommendation: "Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing" by Verna Myers is your VIP ticket to the inclusive dance floor.

5. HR Quote #4:

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

Source: Doug Conant

Conant's mantra is the secret sauce to turning your office into a trophy room. It's simple: happy employees lift those trophies, not the other way around.


  • Internal team success is foundational to achieving broader business goals, emphasizing the importance of a positive internal work environment.
  • A supportive and motivating work environment fuels employee motivation and performance, highlighting the role of workplace conditions in achieving success.
  • Leaders play a crucial role in creating a positive work environment that drives success, underlining the impact of leadership on workplace culture.
  • Prioritizing employee well-being contributes to a productive and successful workplace, showing the link between employee health and organizational performance.
  • Engaged employees are more likely to perform well, contributing to the overall success of the organization and highlighting the importance of employee engagement initiatives.

Recommendation: "TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments" by Doug Conant uncovers the leadership legerdemain for creating a winning team spirit.

2. HR Quote #5:

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel."

Source: Sybil F. Stershic

If your team is on Cloud Nine, your customers are likely booking the next flight there, too. Stershic's insight is the HR crystal ball that predicts customer satisfaction by simply peeking into the employee lounge.


  • The emotional state of employees directly impacts customer satisfaction, highlighting the importance of maintaining high employee morale.
  • Investing in a positive work environment not only enhances employee morale but also positively affects customer experiences.
  • Understanding and addressing how employees feel fosters a culture of empathy, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive workplace.
  • Creating an inclusive work environment where employees feel valued and heard is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and engagement.
  • Aligning employee care with customer care strategies benefits both employees and customers, enhancing the overall brand experience.

Recommendation: "Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care" by Sybil F. Stershic is your go-to guide for aligning the stars of employee care and customer delight.

6. HR Quote #6:

"People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards."

Source: Dale Carnegie

Carnegie whispers the secret recipe for turning your team into marathon runners who sprint past the extra mile marker. It's not the cash that fuels their run; it's the high-fives, the shoutouts, and the shiny trophies waiting at the finish line.


  • Recognition and rewards motivate employees to exceed expectations, highlighting the importance of acknowledging their efforts beyond financial compensation.
  • Employee loyalty is fostered through regular recognition, creating a strong sense of belonging and commitment to the organization.
  • Enhanced employee performance and productivity are often the results of feeling valued and recognized, underlining the power of positive reinforcement.
  • Understanding what motivates employees is crucial for creating a culture of high performance and engagement.
  • Encouraging personal and professional growth through recognition and rewards can lead to a more motivated and capable workforce.

Recommendation: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie is your treasure map to the goldmine of human motivation and relationship-building.

7. HR Quote #7:

"Culture is not just one aspect of the game, it is the game."

Source: Louis V. Gerstner Jr.

Gerstner tosses the rulebook out the window, declaring culture the MVP of the corporate league. It's the air your organization breathes, the pulse that beats through its corridors. Forget about sideline strategies; culture is the game, the championship, and the victory lap all rolled into one.


  • The culture of an organization is a critical driver of success and innovation, emphasizing its importance as more than just one aspect of the business.
  • A strong, positive culture boosts employee engagement and loyalty, making it a key factor in retaining top talent.
  • Cultivating a culture that embraces change is essential for organizational growth and adaptation, highlighting the need for flexibility and resilience.
  • Leaders must actively shape and nurture the organizational culture to align with the company's vision, demonstrating the significant impact of leadership on culture.
  • A cohesive culture enhances team dynamics and collaboration, leading to better outcomes and a more unified workforce.

Recommendation: "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?" by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. offers a playbook on leading monumental change, starting with the heart of your organization's culture.

8. HR Quote #8:

"Leadership is not a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence, and inspiration."

Source: Robin S. Sharma

Sharma redefines the leadership game, not as a crown worn but as a torch carried forward. It's about setting the woods on fire with your vision and warming a path for others to follow. Forget the nameplate on your door; it's the footprints you leave behind that count.


  • Leadership is about influencing and inspiring others towards a common goal, not just holding a title or position.
  • Focusing on the growth and development of team members is a key responsibility of effective leaders, emphasizing the importance of mentorship.
  • Inspiring leadership motivates employees to achieve their best, showcasing the transformative power of visionary leadership.
  • Empathetic leadership fosters a supportive and understanding work environment, crucial for building trust and cooperation among team members.
  • The impact of leadership is measured by the positive changes and inspiration it brings to the team and organization, highlighting the legacy of influential leaders.

Recommendation: "The Leader Who Had No Title" by Robin S. Sharma is your guide to becoming an unforgettable leader, title or no title.

9. HR Quote #9:

"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to."

Source: Richard Branson

Branson flips the script on the training conundrum, serving up a paradox that's as refreshing as a mint julep on a hot summer day. It's about empowering your team so they're equipped to fly the nest, yet making that nest the coziest spot on the planet.


  • Investing in employee development is crucial for both individual and organizational success, underscoring the value of training and growth opportunities.
  • Treating employees well is key to retaining top talent, as a fulfilling work environment encourages them to stay and contribute their best.
  • Providing growth opportunities enhances employee satisfaction and loyalty, demonstrating the benefits of a supportive and empowering workplace.
  • A fulfilling work environment encourages employees to stay and contribute their best, highlighting the importance of job satisfaction and engagement.
  • Empowering employees through development and respectful treatment boosts their confidence and productivity, showcasing the positive impact of empowerment on performance.

Recommendation: "The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership" by Richard Branson sails you through the high seas of leadership, where treating people right is the compass that guides you.

10. HR Quote #10:

"The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay."

Source: Henry Ford

Ford drops a truth bomb that echoes through the halls of history, reminding us that an untrained team is like a car without wheels—sure, it's there, but it's not going anywhere fast.


  • Commitment to continuous learning and development is essential for both retention and productivity, emphasizing the need for ongoing training initiatives.
  • Focusing on skills enhancement benefits both the employee and the organization, highlighting the mutual advantages of investment in learning.
  • Valuing employees through training demonstrates an investment in their future, fostering a culture of growth and development.
  • Training is a fundamental component of organizational growth and innovation, underlining the strategic importance of employee development programs.
  • Well-trained employees are more likely to improve their performance and contribute to organizational success, showcasing the direct impact of training on business outcomes.

Recommendation: "Ford v Ferrari" isn't just a thrill ride of speed and rivalry; it's a masterclass in innovation, teamwork, and driving your team to the finish line, against all odds.

11. HR Quote #11:

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

Source: Meghan M. Biro

Biro serves up a slice of humble pie with a side of reality check, reminding us that at the end of the day, we're all just humans craving a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Forget the corporate jargon and the KPIs for a second; it's the human connection that fuels the engine of engagement.


  • Treating employees with respect and dignity fosters a strong human connection, crucial for building a positive workplace culture.
  • Respectful treatment increases employee engagement and dedication, demonstrating the importance of respect in fostering a committed workforce.
  • Employees who feel respected are more likely to contribute positively to the brand, highlighting the link between employee treatment and brand loyalty.
  • A culture of respect and recognition is essential for a high-performance workplace, underscoring the role of cultural values in achieving organizational excellence.
  • Empathy towards employees enhances understanding and cooperation within the team, leading to a more harmonious and effective work environment.

Recommendation: Dive into the world of "Talent Culture: How to Build a High-Performance Workplace" by Meghan M. Biro (if available), or let her writings and podcasts be your GPS to navigating the human side of human resource management.

Also, here's our two cents... in the grand scheme of things, HR isn't just about policies and payroll; it's about people, passion, and the endless pursuit of workplace nirvana. Keep these inspiring HR quotes close to your and revisit them from time to time. We'll keep adding more. Thanks!