101 Motivational quotes to engage and inspire employees

This list of motivational quotes for employees will help you show appreciation from managerial perspective and effectively motivate and engage your employees.

A few wise words of wisdom in a form of motivational quotes for employees have the potential to go a long way with your employees. Set the tone and try and get your employees motivated with a simple but powerful phrase, perhaps even integrate motivational quotes into your company culture.

As many politicians and other public speakers have proven, motivational speeches have the power to inspire nations. Albeit your team might be too small to even fill an office, using some words of wisdom when addressing others can make the difference in spurring them on to give 110%.

Positive words provoke positive emotions. Through the power of the right message, any individual can engage employees and initiate a genuine following that will take teams to even higher levels of productivity.

Why is employee motivation so important?

Employee motivation is an imperative component of a healthy and productive workplace and there are a number of activities you can focus on to boost employee motivation. But why is motivation so important? Well, there are several reasons why motivation is so important including:

Improved employee commitment - when employees are motivated it is more than likely that this will be evidenced in the level of commitment they put in their work and subsequently, an increased level of quality.

Increased employee satisfaction - keeping worker’s happy helps to strengthen a company via lower turnover, higher productivity, increased productivity, higher profits and increases employee-employer loyalty.

Employee Development and Goals - Motivation can help to facilitate an employee achieve their goals. Often motivation and goals work in tandem. With greater motivation the successful reaching of goals is more likely. With successful reaching of goals, it is more likely that a boost in motivation will be evidenced.

Productivity – A motivated employee is likely to be an efficient and productive employee. A willingness to complete a task balanced out with a desire for quality, means that a motivated employee is more efficient and more productive.

👉 Click here to book a FREE employee engagement and motivation coaching session or to find a how-to guide to write an effective employee development plan.

101 Motivational quotes for employees from a manager's perspective

Have a read through some of the employee motivational quotes for employees from a manager's perspective that we have collated. It is important to consider which ones may be effective for your workforce or potential to a given individual.


1. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Motivational quotes for employees - Holtz

2. “Do or do not. There is no try.”- Yoda

3. “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

4. “Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much of Today.” – Will Rogers

5. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” - George Addai

6. “I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” - Lewis Carroll

carroll quote

7. “I got lucky because I never gave up the search. Are you quitting too soon? Or are you willing to pursue luck with a vengeance?” – Jill Konrath

8. “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Zigler

9. “If you hit the target every time, it’s too near or too big.” - Tom Hirshfield

10. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” — Salvador Dali

dali quote - motivational quotes

11. “It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.” - Lou Holtz

12. “Keep your face to the sun and you cannot see the shadows.” - Helen Keller

13. “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur

14. “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” - Lucius Seneca

15. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” - Vince Lombardi

16. “The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” – Karen Salmansohn

17. “The expert in anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes

18. “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” - Charles Kingsleigh

19. “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” - John Muir

motivational quotes for employees - john muir

20. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

21. “Very often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene” - A.C. Benson

22. “You can worry about the competition…or you can focus on what’s ahead of you and drive fast.” – Jack Dorsey

Motivational quotes for employees - Dorsey

23. “You were hired because you met expectations, you will be promoted if you can exceed them.” – Saji Ijiyemi

Hard Work

24. " A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.” – Mildred Struven

25. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

26. “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” – Calvin Coolidge

27. “Becoming is better than being.” - Carol Dweck

28. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

motivational quotes for employees - roosevelt

29. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

30. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” - Mark Twain

31. “Embrace the pain to inherit the gain.” – Habeeb Akande

32. “Goodness and hard work are rewarded with respect.” – Luther Campbell

motivational quotes for employees - campbell

33. “Happiness is the real sense of fulfilment that comes from hard work.” – Joseph Barbara

34. “Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.” – Helena Rubinstein

35. “Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.” – Robert Hall

36. “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

Motivational quotes for employees - Jefferson

37. “If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” - Vincent Van Gogh

38. “No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work.” – Jonathan Sacks

39. “Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It’s hard to stay on top.” – Paul Coffey

40. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas Edison

motivational quotes for employees - edison

41. “Refuse failure. No matter how difficult the obstacles, find a way to around them.” – JJ Goldwag

42. “Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.” - Patrick Suskind

43. “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” – Harry Golden

44. “The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on.” - Charles Dickens

45. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

46. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it” - Henry Ford

47. “You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” - Barack Obama

motivational quotes for employees - obama

48. “You just have to keep driving down the road. It’s going to bend and curve and you’ll speed up and slow down, but the road keeps going." - Ellen DeGeneres


49. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” - Judy Garland

50. “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein

motivational quotes for employees - einstein

51. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” —Truman Capote

52. “First principle: never to let one’s self be beaten down by persons or by events.” – Marie Curie

53. "If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing.” - Ernest Hemingway

motivational quotes for employees - hemingway

54. “If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

55. “Life is about making an impact, not making an income.” – Kevin Kruse

56. “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

57. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” - Michael Jordan

Motivational quotes for employees - Jordan

58. “Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

59. “The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others.” - Hasidic Proverb

60. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” - Amelia Earhart

61. “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.” - Terence Fletcher

motivational quotes for employees - fletcher

62. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” - Dr. Robert Schuller

63. “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

64. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” - Plato

65. "Well done, is better than well said” - Benjamin Franklin

Motivational quotes for employees - Franklin

66. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” - Lao Tzu

67. “When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.” - Henry J. Kaiser

68. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is” – Vince Lombardi


69. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” – Zig Ziglar

70. "Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

motivational quotes for employees - rohn

71. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

72. “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

73. “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” - Ralph Marston

74. “Genius is born—not paid.” - Oscar Wilde

75. “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln

motivational quotes for employees - lincoln

76. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth

77. “It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride.” - Rebecca Wells

78. “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” - Jamie Paolinetti

79. “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” - Benjamin Franklin

80. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn

motivational quotes for employees - hepburn

81. “Someone, at some point, came up with this very bad idea that an ordinary individual couldn't make a difference in the world. I think that's just a horrible thing.” - John Skoll

82. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

83. “The day is what you make it! So why not make it a great one?” - Steve Schulte

84. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson

motivational quotes for employees - johnson

85. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” - Ayn Rand

86. “The secret of getting ahead, is getting started.” - Mark Twain

87. “There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing. Be nothing. Say nothing.” - Aristotle

88. “Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.” – Henry J. Kaiser

89. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

motivational quotes for employees - aristotle

90. “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” - Simon Sinek

91. “You can't change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it” - Mahatma Gandhi

92. “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do” – Henry Ford

Motivational quotes for employees - Ford

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


94. “You win by effort, by commitment, by ambition, by quality, by expressing yourself individually but in the team context.” – José Mourinho

95. “If two men on the same job agree all the time, one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless” – Darryl F. Zanuck

96. “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” - Buddha

motivational quotes for employees - buddha

97. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” – H.E. Luccock

98. “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” – Warren Buffet

99. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

100. "Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championship.” – Micheal Jordan

motivational quotes for employees - jordan

101. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” - Paulo Coelho

Additionally, if you are looking to motivate your workforce during a Monday morning meeting use some of our tested quotes.

Employee motivation in the remote workplace

Motivation reflects something unique about each one of us and allows us to gain valued outcomes like improved performance, enhanced well-being, personal growth and a sense of purpose. Motivation is a pathway to change our way of thinking, feeling and behaving. We have added a few more reasons that illustrate the importance of employee motivation in the remote workplace.

  • Employee motivation is significantly influenced by employee performance. For an organization to achieve positive outcomes, it must create a culture and systems of work that facilitate every employee to thrive. No one should be left behind.

  • Motivation can be contagious. When all members of a team feel motivated to achieve their goal, this contributes to a more effective and productive workforce. As colleagues feel more engaged, they will be more encouraged to bounce ideas off each other - which can lead to more innovative solutions.

  • When employees are invested in the success of the team, they are more likely to help other struggling members of the team. This personal touch can help employees overcome problems that are affecting their quality of work. Resultantly boosting the overall output of the whole team or organization.

  • Organizational performance is dependent on the motivation of the employees driving its development. A motivated individual has more drive to go out of their way to not only achieve but exceed their goals. When an employee is enthused by their work they are more likely to promote it to others.

  • Any organization with a reputation for having more enthusiastic employees will benefit from better recruitment options. People are far more attracted to work somewhere that they will feel motivated. This gives an organization better options for growth as it attracts better workers. Consequently leading to overall better organizational performance.

employee motivation definition

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