15 quotes from inspirational leaders on employee engagement and happiness
Employee engagement should be a top priority for every organization in the modern era, especially for those who care about employee happiness, retention and productivity. We pulled together 15 quotes, from various experts and people leaders who have shared their thoughts on why engaged employees are the best employees.
But first, let's quickly dive into what employee engagement really is. According to Forbes:, "Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals."
It's a broad concept comprised of a mixture of leadership development, culture, performance or other organizational goals that HR or the executive team has in place. Employee engagement can be a puzzling task, often left in the hands of HR to solve. This is because no two companies will have the same employee engagement strategies as engagement is impacted by multiple factors such as the working environment, culture, expectations, roles, perks—the list is endless.
Engaged employees are people who are emotionally invested in their work and company; they don't just work for a paycheck or promotion. They're working towards a shared goal, driven by unique company values. Engaged employees are happy employees, plain and simple.
Now that we've summed up the meaning behind EE let's dive into the 15 inspirational quotes on employee engagement.
"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
"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, former CEO of Xerox
"When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute." — Simon Sinek, the author best known for "Start With Why."
"Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret." — Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
"Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company." — Zig Ziglar
"People leave when they don't feel appreciated. That's why we've made recognition a really high value. Our business is people-capability first; then you satisfy customers; then you make money." — David Novak, CEO of YUM! Brands
"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"
"Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last." — Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue
"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
"Culture is about performance, and making people feel good about how they contribute to the whole." — Tracy Streckenbach interview, Clear Goals Matter More than Mission, The New York Times
"People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That's the new talent contract." — Pamela Stroko in Tanveer Naseer's blog post How Leaders are Creating Engagement in Today's Workplaces
"Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results." — David Zinger, Let's Co-Create an Employee Engagement Charter, The Employee Engagement Network
"Engaged employees stay for what they give (they like their work); disengaged employees stay for what they get (favourable job conditions, growth opportunities, job security)." — Blessing White's The State of Employee Engagement 2008
"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
"You'll attract the employees you need if you can explain why your mission is compelling: not why it's important in general, but why you're doing something important that no one else is going to get done."— Peter Thiel
Learn more on how Chocolate Soup can help level-up your employee engagement strategy.