Top 44 Most Engaging Employee Recognition Quotes in Workplace

Subscribe to the Newsletter
Employee Recognition Quotes

Dedicated and engaging employees are precious assets of an organization. They contribute their best to the organization and increase productivity. It’s the job of companies to keep their employees motivated, engaged, and competent.

Appreciation and recognition go a long way to keep employees engaged. These practices motivate employees to give their best work for the organization’s growth. 

Leaders understand the importance of supporting, prioritizing, and thanking employees for their support and excellent work. However, getting inspiration from successful business leaders, authors can help new leaders to develop their strategies.

For helping future leaders, here are some inspirational recognition quotes for employees. You can use these quotes as your desktop wallpaper, banner, poster for reminding you of the importance of employee recognition.

Engaging Employee Recognition Quotes

1. Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective series “Sherlock Holmes.” This quote reminds leaders to be humble and give credit where credit is due. When you recognize your genius workforce, they will also recognize your talents. Therefore an excellent office culture is created.

2. Motivating employees to work at their full potential is the main premise of successful management.
Eraldo Banovac

Eraldo Banovac is a Croatian author and professor. With these employee appreciation quotes, he emphasizes bringing out the best from employees. Only then can the company achieve maximum growth and success.

3. In behavioral economic terms, when we offer recognition we are acknowledging that the recipients have met a social ideal. They are behaving in a certain manner because they believe it is the right thing to do. If we then recognize that behavior with praise or appreciation, we offer a confirmation that their behavior is desirable, and do so in a manner that recipients find meaningful.
Cindy Ventrice

“Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works” author Cindy Ventrice talks about the office culture in this quote. Office culture consists of things employees do when management is not looking. When this behavior is appropriate, employees get recognition and appreciation. Every leader should be aware of this and make sure proper behavior is appreciated.

4. I think you need to love giving compliments as much as you love receiving them.
Yami Gautam

Yami Gautam is an Indian film actress. She thinks compliments should be given out according to an individual employee’s preferences. Giving compliments creates strong relationships between employees and employers. So, whenever you notice good work, make sure to give out compliments. It will encourage others to compliment you as well.

5. Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.
Robert McNamara

President of the world bank group and the eighth United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stress appreciating both accomplishments and attitudes. Employees tend to work for an organization where they feel valued. Encouraging words from company management can boost their confidence and make them deliver better productivity.

6. Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment.
Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh was an American football coach. In this quote, he prioritizes sincere appreciation rather than generalized ones. Leaders appreciating their employees should do the same. While leaders praise the employees’ good works, they mention their strengths and where they need to improve.

7. What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise — although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!
William James

William James was the first educator in the United States to offer a psychology course and is considered one of the prominent thinkers of the nineteenth century. Here, he talks about the importance of peer-to-peer recognition. In his opinion, peer-to-peer recognition satisfies deep human needs that nothing else can.

8. Employees who report receiving recognition and praise within the last seven days show increased productivity, get higher scores from customers, and have better safety records. They’re just more engaged at work.
Tom Rath

Tom Rath is an employee recognition consultant best known for his studies on strengths-based leadership, wellbeing, and synthesizing research findings in a series of bestselling books. In his opinion, offering recognition is the best way to improve engagement. That’s the main takeaway from this quote.

9. Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.
Arnold H. Glasow

The ideal way to get attention from employees is by praising them. That’s the opinion of Arnold H. Glasow, an American businessman. Many companies have experienced better results and productivity firsthand when the employees felt valued and praised.

10. When you see validation for a life’s work and dedication, it’s a beautiful day.
Mary Gauthier

American folk singer and author Mary Gauthier states that validation is a crucial part of one’s journey. In her opinion, getting validated. These practices motivate employees and can quote excellent results. It can make a day feel beautiful and brighter for any person.

11. Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that never miss the opportunity to give encouragement.
George Adams

Gorge Adams, an American football player, experienced the impact of appreciation and recognition and that’s the exact argument he made. When you encourage someone and get a better result, it makes you feel good about yourself. So, this should be a common practice in every organization.

12. Take time to appreciate employees and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.
Dr. Bob Nelson

To get a better result, employers need to appreciate employees as much as possible. That’s the takeaway from this quote.

13. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
G.K. Chesterton

English Writer G.K. Chesterton strongly considered conveying gratitude as the best way to make others happy. When you thank your employees for their efforts, they will be more than happy to keep doing their best work. It will result in more productivity and prosperity.

14. 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 M. Mulcahy

CEO of Xerox Corporation, Annie M. Mulcahy, encouraged employers to be concerned about employees personally. In her opinion, it makes employees more productive so that they can provide better for the consumers. Thus the company can gain more profits.

15. People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards.
Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie is an American writer and an expert on changing behavior. 

16. 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

Jim Stovall is best known for his bestselling novel “The Ultimate Gift.” He urges people to give effort. And when one achieves success, acknowledging their efforts is a must.  It allows everyone to be happy, competent, and win. 

17. Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

French Enlightenment writer, philosopher, and historian Voltaire expressed appreciation as an excellent object. Appreciation helps excellence to spread among everyone. 

18. Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.
Mary Kay Ash

Businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Mary Kay Ash, expressed appreciation as a two-way street. She encouraged others to express their gratitude rather than keep it a secret. 

19. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou is an American poet and a civil rights activist. In this quote, she emphasized making people feel good about themselves. While people tend to forget words, they remember the feeling. Thus, leaders should make their employees feel wanted and valued for optimum benefits.

20. Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.
Michael Jordan.

Professional basketball player, businessman Michael Jordan believes if you want something to happen, you need to be determined about it. Wishing or wanting something cannot bring you much good if you don’t try enough to make it happen.

21. If you do not treat people with the respect they deserve, do not expect any kind of commitment to your productivity goals and target.
Ian Fuhr

Ian Fuhr is the owner of the largest beauty salon chain in South Africa. He states, treating people with the respect they deserve can help you reach your productivity target. It is valid for any aspiring leaders as well. When leaders treat their employees with respect, they receive respect along with increased productivity.

22. There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
– Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, the founder of Missionaries of Charity, is best known for her work in Kolkata (previous Calcutta). According to her, the hunger for appreciation is more prominent in the world than the hunger for bread. Thus, when you feed the appreciation hunger, it gives you better results.

23. I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.
Sir Richard Branson

Business magnate, investor, author Sir Richard Branson emphasizes treating employees better and praising them for their work. He believes that people return the same behavior as they receive. So, if you treat your employees better, they will provide you with better accomplishments.

24. Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is the greatest German literary figure of the modern era. This multi-talented person emphasizes encouragement rather than correcting others. Von Gothe expresses that leaders who encourage employees to accomplish tasks rather than constantly correct them get better results.

25. If people did not complement one another, there would be little society.
Luc de Clapiers

Eighteenth-century French writer and moralist Luc de Clapiers considered compliments as the fundamental of societies. This quote expresses how important compliments are for creating engagement. If employees don’t receive compliments from leaders, they don’t feel appreciated, and thus companies lose productivity.

26. Being told something positive about yourself, whether from someone you’re close to or a passing acquaintance, should really lift the spirits. Just the fact that someone has taken the time to let you know should have you feeling noticed and appreciated.
Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey is a British novelist and critic. He considers appreciation as an excellent way to make someone’s day. The fact that someone took their time to appreciate good work can inspire and motivate them for the next task.

27. Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is an inspirational book author. He compared appreciation with prayer as it lit up everyone’s day. Also, appreciation can go a long way to make things feel easier and precious.

28. Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.
Jacques Maritain

French philosopher Jacques Maritain labeled appreciation as the most exquisite form of courtesy. Everyone craves validation. When someone appreciates another one’s work, it builds a strong bond among them.

29. It is a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.
Roberto Benigni

Roberto Benigni is an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. He considers not showing gratitude as a sign of mediocrity. Saying thank you doesn’t take much time. But people unwilling to show appreciation are just proving their poor judgment.

30. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward

American motivational writer William Arthur Ward defined appreciation very cleverly. A gift brings joy and happiness. But, not giving a gift after wrapping is simply foolishness. Likewise, not acknowledging one’s hard work is merely unsmart.  

31. The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
William James

It is another quote from William James. Here he expressed gratitude as a natural craving for humans. Everyone wants to be appreciated. Therefore, gratitude should be expressed where gratitude is due.

32. Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. –  Frank A. Clark

Law practitioner Frank A. Clark brought rain metaphor to define criticism. Gentle rain nourishes the earth and allows plants to grow. On the other hand, heavy rain destroyed harvests. Similarly, mild criticism can make employees do better in the future, while harsh criticism can make them drown.

33. People want to be understood and respected as individuals. Years ago, an executive editor of mine said, ‘You should count the number of times you praise somebody and then double that.’ Even the toughest, steeliest writer or editor often really wants to be told, ‘Hey, that was a great piece.’ Early in my career as a manager, it probably took me a while to realize that everyone wants that. It’s just a human need.
Cindi Leive

Cindi Leive, an American journalist, also expressed appreciation as a human need. Everyone, even the best among everyone, needs to be appreciated. It boosts their confidence and inspires them to do better and better.

34. Make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, has a meaningful impact, and is contributing to the good of society.
Larry Page

Internet entrepreneur, business magnate Larry Page, advocates giving everyone a chance to do meaningful work. This offers people opportunities to contribute to a better society. When people feel valued and get opportunities to do good, it makes them confident and motivated.

35. What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you- what used to be your tailwind is now your headwind. You have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.
Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, a prominent American entrepreneur, emphasizes adapting to changes. The world is changing drastically. People who change with it can cope up. Complaining doesn’t bring anything good, but adopting does. 

36. Treat your employees right so they won’t use your Internet to look for new jobs.
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg is talking about the importance of treating employees well in this excellent employee quote. If the employees don’t feel valued, they will look for other jobs while performing poorly on yours. Every leader should make their employees feel valued and convey them proper gratitude.

37. Every employee can affect your company’s brand, not just the frontline employees that are paid to talk to your customers.
Tony Hsieh

Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Hsieh express that every employee is equally important for organizations. When everyone works together, challenging jobs become possible. Any disruption in any place can bring down the whole process. Employee engagement allows an organization to bring values and increase productivity.

38. Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
John D. Rockefeller

Philanthropist, business magnate John D. Rockefeller talks about encouragement in this quote. In his opinion, encouragement can increase productivity and quality. A good leader knows how to motivate employees and help them reach their full potential. It helps both the individual and the organization.

39. In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters to your people.
Julie Bevacqua

President, Co-Founder, and Advisor of Rise People Inc., Julie Bevacqua, is talking about understanding employee needs in this quote. In her opinion, without knowing what employees want, the finest strategies can fall apart. When management knows what their employees want, they can keep employees happy and grow together for better results.

40. In the end, all management can be reduced to three words: people, products, and profits. People come first.
Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca is an American automobile executive, best known for developing Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto. In his opinion, while managing an organization, people always come first. With dedicated people on board, companies can have better products, resulting in increased profit. Without people, everything falls apart. 

41. Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is a success.
Henry Ford

Founder of Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, describes different stages of organizations in this quote. He states that progress happens when everything is kept together. When everyone is engaged and working together, it will bring success. 

42. Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincon was the 16th president of the United States. According to him, recognition doesn’t come easy. So, if someone is not recognized, they should try harder and better to get it. 

43. Being told you’re appreciated is one of the simplest and most uplifting things you can hear.
Sue Fitzmaurice

Multi-talented Sue Fitzmaurice explains the importance of appreciation in this quote. Appreciation is a simple act yet has excellent effects. Few words of appreciation can make anyone’s day brighter and uplifting. 

44. The human brain has an amazing ability for pattern recognition, sometimes even better than a computer.
Tabetha S. Boyajian

Astronomer Tabetha S. Boyajian thinks the human brain can pattern recognition better than computers. As a human, everyone craves recognition. Getting recognized for their work is the best feeling of all.


These are quotes about employees’ values to make your day a bit brighter and remind you to give compliments and express gratitude. A little bit of extra effort can make someone’s day and make your productivity increase drastically. So, don’t be shy away from thanking and appreciating your employees.

Choose the best quotes that resonate with you and make them your desktop wallpaper, posters, banners. These can be great accessories for decorating your office and will always remind you to pass compliments when necessary.

Recognize Newsletter

Stay on-top of the latest in HR news, resources, tips, and technology. Receive free expert HR tips & special offers.