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15 Employee Engagement Quotes to Inspire You

Genevieve Michaels

When’s the last time you felt inspired by something you were working on? This could be at work, or for a personal goal or project.

Whatever you were working on, you probably felt curious and motivated. You didn’t just want to get this thing done — you wanted to accomplish it in the best possible way. 

That feeling is engagement. And when employees feel engaged in the workplace, something magic happens. 

Engaged employees care about the outcomes of their work. They’re invested both in the direct results of their tasks, and the greater mission they are connected to. 

These 15 quotes, collected from brilliant business leaders, writers, and visionaries, will get you thinking about how to foster engagement at your organization. 

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

Simon Sinek

Legendary author Simon Sinek has written that truly successful organizations don’t just know what they do — they understand why they’re doing it. Sharing that ‘why’ with all your employees will help them feel emotionally invested in their work. 

“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.”

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE

Of course, companies exist to make money. But they’re made up of people, and that’s Jack Welch knows that no organization can perform without engaged employees who care about what they’re all working towards. 

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

Meghan M. Biro

If you want disengaged employees, a surefire way to do it is to treat them as replaceable cogs in the machine. A culture of engagement means everyone feels comfortable showing up as their authentic selves. 

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

Pamela Stroko

This is the future of work, and the talent market is more competitive than ever. To find and retain great people, employers need to offer them autonomy, trust, and a sense of purpose. 

“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.”

Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard

How could anyone feel motivated to do the same thing day after day, with no sense of the context and meaning behind their work? Create engagement by making sure your people know they’re part of something greater. 

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

Timothy R. Clark

CEOs and top managers aren’t on the front lines of your organization — employees are. If they don’t feel happy, engaged, and respected at work, it will be immediately obvious to your customers.

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

Kevin Kruse

Emotions do belong in the workplace! Writer and historian Kevin Kruse believes employees’ connection to organizational goals is what creates engagement. 

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

Ian Hutchinson

It’s tempting for leaders to focus on customers — and profits — above all else. But employee engagement expert Ian Hutchinson believes taking care of employees’ happiness is every bit as essential. 

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood, sweat, and tears.”

Simon Sinek

Obviously, every employee shows up to work to earn a living. But the difference between an employee who feels personally aligned with their mission and one who doesn’t is night and day. 

“To build a culture of engagement it is important to incorporate training on intrinsic motivation and employee engagement into management development programs.”

Kenneth Thomas

Executives can brainstorm about employee engagement all they like — but the responsibility for creating it comes down to frontline managers. Invest in training and coaching managers so they understand what engagement is, why it matters, and how they can foster it on their teams.

“It all came down to employee engagement. It all came down to recognition. It all came down to leadership, which led every sailor feeling ownership and accountability for the results. You can ask a team to accomplish a mission but can’t order excellence.”

Mike Abrashoff

Your team probably isn’t sailing through choppy waters, but these words from former naval commander ring true. Exceptional work only happens when people feel ownership for and pride in what they do. 

“Environments that support their employees in the right way will naturally foster employee engagement.” 

Aaron Tucker

It might be tempting to think of engagement (or the lack of it) as your employees’ responsibility. But actually, it’s up to employers to create engagement by creating a culture that feels motivating, inspiring, and inclusive. 

“The key element of engagement is trust; building trust requires companies to provide workers with as much autonomy and flexibility as possible.”

Matt Charney

It’s not news that today’s workers expect a flexible, self-directed work experience. But it’s also a critical part of creating engagement. How could someone take ownership and pride in a task they’re not even trusted to handle on their own? 

“Employee engagement is all about maximizing employee productivity by creating the right conditions to motivate employees to contribute their maximum effort, skills, and knowledge.”

Guy Ellis

Time, effort, and energy are precious. If people don’t care about what they’re working on, it’s natural for them to conserve those resources and simply do as they’re told. To build engagement, employers need to make sure their employees feel like a valuable, integral part of the greater organization. 

“Engagement occurs when workers trust leaders and feel an emotional connection to the organization – the same way they did their first day on the job.”

Jill Christensen

That first-day feeling is about excitement, pride, and optimism for a bright future with your organization. Hang on to that feeling, and you’ll have a highly engaged workforce. 

Build (and measure) employee engagement

Employee engagement can be hard to pin down. After all, we’re talking about inspiration, motivation, and enthusiasm — inherently human, ephemeral things!

 But employee engagement is worth focusing on. Engaged employees elevate their own experience, the quality of their work, and ultimately, outcomes across your entire organization. 

15Five’s surveys and feedback tools make employee engagement easy to track, measure, and quantify. 
Book a demo and start bringing out the best in your people today