16 Inspiring Employee Retention Quotes

Employees standing around a conference table

Hiring and retaining a strong team of employees gives your company a key competitive advantage—your people are an asset your competition does not have. Without them, operations will certainly come to a standstill. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch once said:

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.

So, how do you keep the best people around in the long run? We’ve pulled together these thought-inspiring employee retention quotes to guide you through the essentials. 

Workers want to be engaged

An involved, invested approach to leadership matters. Before you bring on new employees, consider how the managers on your team are being trained. Do they have the time and support needed to engage and empower their team?

  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 DePree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company


  2. “It’s sad, really, how a negative workplace can impact our lives and the way we feel about ourselves. The situation is reaching pandemic heights – most people go to work at jobs they dislike, supervised by people who don’t care about them, and directed by senior leaders who are often clueless about where to take the company.” – Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld, authors of Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times


  3. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan, former US president


  4. “When leaders throughout an organization take an active, genuine interest in the people they manage, when they invest real time to understand employees at a fundamental level, they create a climate for greater morale, loyalty, and, yes, growth.” – Patrick Lencioni, author

Workers want to feel a sense of purpose

Purpose-driven millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Nobody comes to work wanting to do a bad job. Showing your people the why behind your work and how they fit into your vision of success not only sets clear expectations—it inspires loyalty and hard work. 

  1. “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, author & speaker


  2. “All employees have an innate desire to contribute to something bigger than themselves.” – Jag Randhawa, author & speaker


  3. “Engaged employees are in the game for the sake of the game; they believe in the cause of the organization.” – Paul Marciano, fashion designer & co-founder of Guess? Inc.


  4. “Engaged employees stay for what they give (they like their work); disengaged employees stay for what they get (favorable job conditions, growth opportunities, job security).” – from BlessingWhite Inc.’s The State of Employee Engagement 2008

Workers want to be appreciated

At the end of the day, employees are people. People go where they are seen and respected. Openly and consistently acknowledge both big and small wins on your team, and expect that your workers will be happier about showing up to work for you. 

  1. “People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That’s the new talent contract.” – Pamela Stroko, Vice President, HCM Transformation & Thought Leadership at Oracle Corporation


  2. “The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” – Sybil F. Stershic, author of Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care


  3. “Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.” – Mary Kay Ash, businesswoman & founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics


  4. “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” – Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club

Workers want to be encouraged 

The reality of temporary staffing is that your team won’t be the same forever—employees move on to bigger and better dreams eventually. Encourage them to meet their long-term goals, and you’ll have a customer for life. 

  1. “You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.” – Zig Ziglar, author, salesman & motivational speaker


  2. “This is the only country in the world where today’s employee is tomorrow’s employer.” – Marco Rubio, politician & lawyer


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


  4. “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” – Audrey Hepburn, actress & humanitarian

Did any of these quotes about employee retention resonate with you? Do you need more employees? Employee retention quotes are a great way to kick off a conversation with your management team as you head into your next round of hiring.

Cool Events quote. Learn more about staffing with Jobble.

About the Author: Meghna Jaradi is a freelance writer and events manager with experience working for the Seattle Times, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and more. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

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