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30+ Best Workplace Quotes That You Can Use to Motivate Your Employees

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Best Workplace Quotes

Workplace quotes are a fun way to inspire your staff. Whether you draw from great inventors like Thomas Edison, authors like Gustave Flaubert, activists like Helen Keller or cartoon characters like Homer Simpson, a quote or two can give your employees that little boost they need when their motivational levels dip.

There’s a workplace quote for every occasion, whether you want to encourage diversity and inclusion or just give everyone a much-needed laugh. 

For other ways to inspire your staff in a fun way, check out this list of teamwork quotes, or plan a movie night featuring one of the greatest workplace movies of all time.

1. Significance of Workplace Quotes

Workplace quotes promote a positive and engaging workplace. Alone, they may not prove particularly effective, but they can play an integral part of a larger motivational strategy. Consider including quotations as part of your company newsletter, in meeting rooms and other common office spaces, or digitally on team communication platforms like Slack.

2. Short Workplace Quotes

Short Workplace Quotes

"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work."

  • Vince Lombardi

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

  • Thomas Jefferson

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, I’m possible!"

  • Audrey Hepburn

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

  • Steve Jobs

"Don’t persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen."

  • Elizabeth Lesser

3. Funny Workplace Quotes

"The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen."

  • Sarah Brown

"Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work."

  • Robert Orben

"I didn't fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."

  • Benjamin Franklin

"Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers.​"

  • Homer Simpson

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."

  • Will Rogers

4. Diversity and Inclusion Quotes

Diversity and Inclusion Quotes

"The path to diversity begins with supporting, mentoring, and sponsoring diverse women and men to become leaders and entrepreneurs."

  • Denise Morrison

"We all want to have something to offer. This is how we belong. It is how we feel included. So, if we want to include everyone, then we have to help everyone develop their talents, and use their gifts for the good of the community. That’s what inclusion means. Everyone is a contributor."

  • Melinda Gates

"Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth."

  • Jesse Jackson

"I can tell you, without diversity, creativity remains stagnant."

  • Edward Enninful

"Diversity requires commitment. Achieving the superior performance diversity can produce needs further action - most notably, a commitment to develop a culture of inclusion. People do not just need to be different; they need to be fully involved and feel their voices are heard."

  • Alain Dehaze

5. Motivational Workplace Quotes

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus."

  • Alexander Graham Bell

"Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room."

  • Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for."

  • Barack Obama

"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit."

  • Conrad Hilton

"The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."

  • Confucius

6. Positive Workplace Quotes

"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will."

  • Zig Ziglar

"Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions."

  • Albert Einstein

"A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results."

  • Wade Boggs

"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."

  • Paulo Coelho

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty."

  • Winston Churchill

7. Happy Workplace Quotes

"Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it."

  • Tom Smith

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes."

  • Andrew Carnegie

"It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between 9 and 5. It's whether or not our work fulfills us."

  • Malcolm Gladwell

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

  • Tom Peters

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

  • Helen Keller

8. Workplace Safety Quotes

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

  • Benjamin Franklin

"Tend to the people, and they will tend to the business."

  • John C. Maxwell

"Safety brings first aid to the uninjured."

  • F.S. Hughes

"Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands."

  • Jeff Cooper

"Safety is not a gadget but a state of mind."

  • Eleanor Everet

9. Employee Engagement Quotes

"Success is best when it's shared." 

  • Howard Schultz

"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."

  • Jack Welch

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

  • Simon Sinek

"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."

  • Anne Mulcahy

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

  • Timothy R. Clark

10. Work-Life Balance Quotes

Work-Life Balance Quotes

"No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business."

  • Arnold Zack

"Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work."

  • Gustave Flaubert

"Work-life balance, work-life effectiveness, personal and professional satisfaction—or whatever you choose to call it—is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself."

  • Matthew Kelly

"We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in."

  • Arianna Huffington

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life."

  • Brian Dyson

11. Team Motivational Quote

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

  • Isaac Newton

"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."

  • David Packard

"Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there."

  • Virginia Burden

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

  • Harry S Truman

"Decency is avoiding disrespect, not avoiding disagreement. Integrity is trying to get it right, not being right."

  • Adam Grant

12. Innovation Quotes

"Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration."

  • Thomas Edison

"There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted."

  • Sun Tzu

"Innovation is an evolutionary process, so it's not necessary to be radical all the time."

  • Marc Jacobs

"Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve."

  • J.K. Rowling

"There are different ways to do innovation. You can plant a lot of seeds, not be committed to any particular one of them, but just see what grows. And this really isn’t how we’ve approached this. We go mission-first, then focus on the pieces we need and go deep on them and be committed to them."

  • Mark Zuckerberg

13. FAQs

  • What to Say to Motivate Workers?

Workplace quotes are a simple, conversational way to begin building a positive work environment. Once you have that scaffold, you can develop a more comprehensive motivational strategy. 

  • How Do You Motivate Your Workforce?

Inspirational quotations should be complemented with other elements like employee appreciation and constructive criticism. Together, these different facets can more effectively drive your staff to achieve success.

  • What to Say to Inspire a Team?

The better you know your team, the better you’ll know the kinds of words that most speak to their personalities. With such a bounty of witty and insightful phrases out there, you can be sure you’ll find the right quotes for any occasion.

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