Skip to main content

Keeping your workforce motivated has never been more difficult as research indicates that only one-third of employees are engaged at work.

Here's a roundup of 86 HR quotes on key topics like leadership, communication, culture, teamwork, recruiting and managing talent to help you keep the wind in your people's sails.

Quotes About Human Resources

  1. "Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they're not just lying around on the surface." - Ken Robinson
  1. “The value of a business is a function of how well the financial capital and intellectual capital are managed by human capital. You'd better get the human capital part right.” - Dave Bookbinder
  1. “Without the right succession planning put to play in human resources, we build for the future without a future.” – Mmanti Umoh
  1. “Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.” – Steve Wynn

Managing human capital effectively is crucial for any organization. If you're looking for a streamlined approach, explore our comprehensive HR software solutions designed to optimize your HR processes

  1. “The hardest challenge being an HR is that sometimes you have to be the LAWYER, the JUDGE, and the HANGMAN.” – Hassan Choughari
  1. “The wealth of time is the only wealth that is more valuable than human resources” - Sunday Adelaja 
  1. “Recruitment IS marketing. If you’re a recruiter nowadays and you don’t see yourself as a marketer, you’re in the wrong profession” - Matthew Jeffrey
  1. “The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.” - Bill Gates

Quotes About Leadership

  1. “To win the marketplace, you must first win the workplace.” - Doug Conant
  1. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” - Max de Pree
  1. Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t have to.” - Sir Richard Branson
  1. “Any idiot can point out a problem... A leader is willing to do something about it! Leaders solve problems!” - Tony Robbins
  1. “Inventories can be managed but people must be led.” - Ross Perot
  1. “Leadership is about giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” - Seth Godin
  1. “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” - Charles Kettering
  1. “If you’re good to your staff when things are going well, they’ll rally when things go bad.”  - Mary Kay Ash
  1. What chance gathers she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  1. “True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do, and doing it well.” - Bill Owens
  1. “Management is nothing more than motivation other people” - Lee Lacocca
  1. "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt
  1. “The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously your people will take you.” - John Maxwell
  1. “Children imitate their parents, employees their managers.” – Amit Kalantri
Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive the requested content, our newsletter, and occasional emails related to People Managing People. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more details, please review our privacy policy. We're protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Key takeaway

Great leadership is a selfless act. You'll need to be a problem solver who is as invested in other people's success as much as your own.


Quotes About Communication

  1. “Every good conversation starts with listening.” – Tom Haak
  1. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw 
  1. “Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success.” - Paul J. Meyer 
  1. “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing” - Rollo May
  1. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” - Peter Drucker
  1. “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” - Tony Robbins  
  1. “The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” - Sydney J. Harris 
  1. “We never listen when we are eager to speak” - Francois de la Rochefoucauld 
  1. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” - William Shakespeare
  1. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” - Epictetus
  1. “For effective communication think about how is your speech is perceived than in what you are actually saying.” - Byron Rivers 
  1. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” - Shannon L. Alder
  1. “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” - Jim Rohn
  1. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” - Stephen R. Covey
  1. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing” - Mark Twain
  1. “Your ability to communicate is an important tool in the pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.” - Lee Brown
  1.  “Be Sincere; be brief, be seated” - Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  1. “Ensure your documentation is short and sharp and make much more use of people-to-people communication.” - Bentley and Borman
  1. “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” - Brian Tracy
  1. “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” - Albert Einstein

Quotes About Teamwork 

  1. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." – Michael Jordan
  1. "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." – H.E. Luccock
  1. “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." – Patrick Lencioni
  1. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." – Henry Ford
  1. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." – Oliver Wendell Holmes
  1. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." – Phil Jackson
  1. "Politeness is the poison of collaboration." – Edwin Land
  1. "You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." – Jim Stovall
  1. "It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." – Napolean Hill
  1. "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." – Booker T. Washington

Key Takeaway

Talent and team go hand-in-hand. The chemistry built among team members stems from trust and candid communication.


Quotes About Culture 

  1. “Employees engage with employers and brands when they’re treated as humans.” - Meghan Biro
  1. “In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” - Julie Bevacqua
  1. “If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”  – John Cleese
  1. “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” - Unknown
  1. “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender
  1. “In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” – Julie Bevacqua
  1. “Good employees make mistakes and good leaders allow them to” - Unknown
  1. "Allow people to be themselves. People want to be GREAT, great companies let them be GREAT." - Arte Nathan
  1. “True motivation comes from achievement, personal development, job satisfaction, and recognition.” - Frederick Herzberg
  1. “Human resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.” - Steve Wynn

Quotes About Recruiting 

63. “Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.” – Malcolm Forbes

64. “Time spent on hiring is time well spent.” – Robert Half

  1. “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs
  1. “If you fulfill the wishes of your employees, the employees will fulfill your visions.” – Amit Kalantri

67. “Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” – Henry David Thoreau

  1. “You can’t teach employees to smile. They have to smile before you hire them.” – Arte Nathan
  2. “You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.” – Renee West
  1. “Don’t hire anyone you wouldn’t want to run into in the hallway at three in the morning.”  – Tina Fey
  1. “Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” – Howard Schulz
  1. “Dating and hiring have a lot in common.” – Scott Wintrip
  1. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair
  1. "We recruit for attitude and train for skill." - Atul Gawande

Key takeaway

How your people are matters as much as who they are. Building your team and supporting your culture with talent starts with finding people with the character to help move your team forward.


Quotes About Talent 

  1. “Nothing we do is more important than hiring people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.” - Lawrence Bossidy
  1. “In most cases, being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.”  - Tina Fey
  1. “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy
  1. "Hire character. Train skill." - Peter Schutz
  1. “Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” - Thomas John Watson Sr.
An image shows two hands shaking with the text of a quote from Simon Sinek overlayed.
  1. "When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute." - Simon Sinek
  1. "Development can help great people be even better - but if I had a dollar to spend, I'd spend 70 cents getting the right person in the door." - Paul Russell
  1. "You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.” - Andrew Carnegie
  1. “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” - Elbert Hubbard
  1. “You’re not just recruiting employees, but are sowing the seeds of your reputation.” - Unknown 
  1. "Ultimately, delivering strategy is about hiring the right people and motivating them to deliver results.” - Helen M. & P. Schubert 
  1. “Hire for passion and intensity; there is training for everything." - Nolan Bushnell

Stay Up to Date

Subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter to stay up to date with our latest articles and podcasts in the world of people management.

Related Articles Worth Checking Out:

Need expert help selecting the right Human Resources (HR) Software?

If you’re struggling to choose the right software, let us help you. Just share your needs in the form below and you’ll get free access to our dedicated software advisors who match and connect you with the best vendors for your needs.

By David Rice

David Rice is a long time journalist and editor who specializes in covering human resources and leadership topics. His career has seen him focus on a variety of industries for both print and digital publications in the United States and UK.