These inspirational quotes are going to be a bit different than what you would think.
It’s not going to be a bunch of RA-RA cheerleader stuff…hell no.
These quotes focus on building relationships that will raise performance and SHOW employees that you appreciate them. Not just some words that say it.
Let’s get right to it…
Top 3 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation
- The key to performance isn’t about trying push new conversations about strategy in, but rather clearing out the clutter.-Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
- If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are? -T. S. Eliot
- Notice the difference between asking ‘Can I do this?’ And, ‘How am I going to do this?’Keep reading for the full list of all 17 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation…
How To Use These Quotes
These quotes are INSPIRATIONAL in that the goal is to inspire the employees to think for themselves, solve problems, and exploit opportunities!
They are not about cheering people on…
I call that kind of feedback MOTIVATIONAL because you’re trying to motivate people to try harder.
To use these inspirational quotes, you need a few things to be set up already:
- Strong business relationships
- Team of motivated individuals
- Respect from the team
Let’s take a quick look at each of these…
Why Do You Care In the First Place?
Why do you want inspired employees and why do you want to show them appreciation?
If the answer is…
- Morale is low
- They don’t seem motivated, or
- There’s a rumor that you don’t appreciate your employees
…then we’ve got bigger issues to tackle my friend!
So, listen closely…
The Toughest Work a Leader Can Do
There is no number of inspirational quotes to fix a dysfunctional relationship with an employee.
And fixing a strained relationship is the toughest work that a leader will ever have to do!
Before venturing any further I suggest you read this post. It’s about how impactful a leader’s words can be, for the better and for the worse!
When your relationships with your employees are all healthy, they begin to resemble more of a partnership.
If that describes your connection with your team, then we’re on the right track!
Before we talk about the inspiration quotes for employee appreciation, some food for thought…
Leaders Don’t Motivate, They Inspire
If your employees aren’t motivated, you’re going to need more than some badass quotes.
Motivation = The Desire to Try
Inspiration = Feeling or Seeing the Leader’s Vision
Maybe you do the hiring, maybe you don’t…but this BONUS QUOTE cuts to the bone:
“If you want motivated people you have to find them, not motivate them.”
Let’s break that down a tad…
So, Why Can’t I Motivate?
Face it, you just can’t motivate someone.
I know, that’s not a very popular take, but it’s true, and here’s why…
It’s the employee’s responsibility to bring the motivation to you. This would mean they are SELF-MOTIVATED.
From there you can inspire, by helping them pinpoint their dreams and goals, and then pushing them to achieve those goals by teaching, training, holding them accountable, and following up on progress.
I actually have another BONUS QUOTE that I like to use to make this point…
“I’d rather inspire my varsity team to championships than motivate my JV team to try”
If they don’t want to try, you’re going to waste your time!
That’s why I say that leaders don’t motivate, they inspire.
OK one last thing…
Before we get to the list of inspirational quotes for employee appreciation, I’ve got one last thing that I want to touch on, and that is R E S P E C T.
(high five if you spelled that out like the song)…
People Work for People
How Much Do Your Employees Respect You?
People work for people.
That means when someone quits, they didn’t quit the company, THEY QUIT YOU. This is true 80% of the time.
Tough to hear? Find yourself getting defensive?
Sure, there are employees that quit that weren’t a good fit and are better off leaving, but a majority of them quit the leader, not the organization
More food for thought: That’s STILL the leader’s fault for hiring the wrong person!
Check out THIS oldie but goodie (which is actually the 1st thing I ever published to the internet!) about garnering more respect from your team.
OK, OK…And now, without further adieu…
17 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation
The key to performance isn’t about trying push new conversations about strategy in, but rather clearing out the clutter. -Book: 3 Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
This is one of my favorite quotes because in business, we almost always look to ADD when we want to affect performance, yet most often we need to REMOVE so we can focus on what’s important.
There are no bad teams, only bad leaders. -Jocko Willink
This one is in here because it’s all about ownership. If you have employees that feel under appreciated, or uninspired, you need to own up to your mistakes before you can move on. This is in direct correlation with the 1st quote, as that “clutter” COULD be gossip about you!
Notice the difference between asking ‘Can I do this?’ And, ‘How am I going to do this?’ -Book: Will it Make the Boat Go Faster? By Ben Hunt-Davis and Harriet Beveridge.
In both questions there is an unsure nature of how to start, but one comes with confidence and the other communicates doubt and fear.
Many people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. -Charles H. Brower
This quote is perfect for a time when a teammate is complaining about a process and not adding any value to the situation.
Tough times don’t last forever. Tough people do. – Robert H. Schuller
Great quote for showing appreciation when an employee as working super hard, or the work gets super hard. (Busy season, corporate visit, high pressure deadline, etc.)
If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing wrong. What holds us back is fear of failure. Just try…go…fail, and then adjust!! -Joe Calloway
Joe wrote the book Be the Best at What Matters Most and it’s a book that I suggest. This quote means that if you’re going to screw up, do it with 100% conviction. I’d rather see an employee comitted to their dream and do it wrong, than do nothing at all.
Most people have a desire to look for the exception instead of a desire to be exceptional. -John Maxwell, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
One of the most important leadership books ever written, and a quote that speaks volumes. Most people would rather find the excuse or reason they failed instead of working to be a success.
No matter how bad things are, you can always make them worse.
This is a funny one because it’s a positive statement said in a negative way. It’s a great reminder that things really aren’t that bad, even when they seem desperate. Stop worrying and go fix it!
If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are? –T. S. Eliot
The reason I LOVE this quote so much is because I’m a hustler. I like a lot on my plate and when I’m not working like a maniac, then I ask for more. You can’t grow unless you’re pushed!
Your abilities say win. What does your attitude say? -Nick Glassett (me!)
Smart, driven, and talented means nothing when the person is negative and toxic!
The essence of competitive advantage is doing different things, and doing things differently. -Book: 3 Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
This is a great reminder that when “they” zig, you’ve got to zag! And the second quote from this book (it’s that good of a read, I suggest it to all leaders!)
Short term easy means long term difficult and short term difficult means long term easy. -Book: Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden
This is a discipline quote. Do what’s easy now, and you’re going to have to kill yourself later to catch back up. Do what’s hard now, and you’ll be ahead of schedule.
Successful people do what others don’t want to do and they in turn get extraordinary results. -Book: Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden
Another one from Rory! I call this, The Winning Formula: Do the things that cause winning. Simple, but not easy. It’s the studying, the practice, the rehearsal, and the work that causes great things to happen.
Get good at being a trouble maker and saying sorry when you really screw up. –Book: 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
This may seem like an odd quote to tell your employees…after all, you don’t want trouble makers do you? I don’t just say yes, I say HELL YES. It’s an empowerment and a trust thing. Nothing communicates “I trust you” like this Tim Ferriss Quote.
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in the presence of fear. – David Cunningham, Landmark Forum Leader
I heard this when I did the incredibly powerful Landmark Forum, and I use it often. Anytime there is a situation that has one of my teammates nervous, this quotes causes action to take place (especially public sharing at a meeting).
Find the sense of who you are, then it will translate into an ease and confidence in how you come off to others. -Unsure of where I got this from
I firmly believe that when you help people be themselves, and not some “improved” or different version is when you truly get inspired action!
Change what you do so you can change how you feel. -Nick Glassett (me)
When people are failing, you would thing they would change what they are doing, but they don’t. Instead they double down and try harder instead of trying something else.
Put in the Time With the People
So there you have it, 17 of my favorite inspirational quotes for employee appreciation.
Many of them are different than your ordinary, optimistic, cheerleader stuff.
I hope you enjoyed it, and would love if you dropped a comment with your opinion and if you used any of these 🙂