HR Quotes

Top 10 Most Inspiring HR Quotes for HR Professionals

Emily BarrHR Professionals, Performance Culture


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HR Quotes


Top 10 Most Inspiring HR Quotes for HR Professionals


HR Quotes to Inspire 

If you’re in Human Resources, chances are you’re no stranger to motivational quotes. Here are our Top 10 most inspiring HR quotes for HR professionals. 


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 

HR Quote 1 - Lawrence Bossidy
This first HR quote comes from Lawrence Bossidy, American author and former CEO of Allied Signal, later Homewell. It captures a concept central to effective HR management: the recognition that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. 

A thoughtful and in-depth onboarding experience is integral for both attracting and retaining top performers. Good HR leaders don’t aim to fill spots, then forget about employees after a few months on the job. They choose candidates who they know will be an excellent fit for the position, then help in their success by providing relevant and effective training programs, and regularly facilitating impactful collaboration within the company. 


2. “Hire character. Train skill.” – Peter Schutz 


HR Quote 2 - Peter Schutz


This HR quote comes from Peter Schutz, who acted as the CEO of Porsche between 1981 and 1987, and then went on to become a profoundly impactful motivational speaker within the business world. 

While HR professionals should aim to onboard candidates who will aid in the company’s success, it is hard to teach someone to have a positive and contributing attitude. The overall outlook and demeanor of the candidate needs to be vetted during the recruitment process. If they seem eager and willing to adapt to challenges and learn new skills, they are likely to be a strong hiring decision. 


3. “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Sir Richard Branson 


HR Quote 3 - Sir Richard Branson 

Anyone engaged in the Human Resources profession has likely come across this HR quote by British business magnate, investor, author, and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.  

The onboarding process is central to providing a good first impression to a new employee, and in cultivating their engagement with their work. HR professionals are also tasked however, with ensuring the existence of other programs that look to engage and retain employees for extended periods; such as Succession Planning for career pathing and Training and Development Programs that support professional growth, a rewards / recognition program with an extensive benefits program can also promote longevity. 


4. “In most cases, being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” – Tina Fey 


HR Quote 4 - Tina Fey


Tina Fey, a beloved American comedian, producer, writer, playwright, and spearhead of several creative projects like 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, knows a thing or two about the value of good leadership. 

Good leaders know their strengths, but great leaders know their own weaknesses even more. Staying in tune with what you can contribute as a leader and understanding when it is best to step back and let an employee take the lead on something, is an essential quality of great leadership.  

Knowing when to act and when to remove oneself is a skill every great leader must learn to master in order to cultivate a successful and productive working environment. 


5. “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” – Elbert Hubbard 


HR Quote 5 - Elbert Hubbard


Elbert Hubbard was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher from the 19th century, but his views on the value of the individual are still current. 

A great leader recognizes the importance of teamwork but is even more in tune with recognizing the value of every individual within the team. Employees are not disposable commodities. Rather, every employee has the potential to offer a unique set of skills that could be extremely beneficial to the company. Leadership that consistently acknowledges this diversity of skills motivates every individual employee to continue to strengthen their quality of work, effectively increasing the morale of the workforce.  


Sprigg Performance Management
Sprigg Performance Management


6. “In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” – Julie Bevacqua 


HR Quote 6 - Julie Bevacque


We know that employee recognition is essential to employee engagement and success, but this HR quote by Rise People’s Chief Revenue Officer Julie Bevacqua points to the importance of understanding what it is that makes your employees tick.  

If you aim to cultivate a better company culture and working environment for your employees, you must be able to go straight to the source and ask your employees directly about their wants and needs. This can be done in several ways; scheduling one-on-one meetings, sending out surveys, having casual conversations, or even taking behavioral assessments. 

Keeping an open dialogue with every employee about their professional goals or demands will make them feel heard and valued and keep them motivated for the long-term stay. 


7. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 


HR Quote 7 - Eleanor Roosevelt


This quote by the former First Lady of the United States emphasizes the importance of compassion in good leadership. Being a good leader does not just mean being able to effectively delegate roles and promote company success. It also means that you possess the emotional intelligence required to listen to the needs and feelings of others, and act accordingly in response to those needs and feelings. Great leaders know how to empathize just as well as they know how to execute a process. 


8. “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender 


HQ Quote 8 - Betty Bender


A leader’s responsibility extends far beyond arranging benefits and having tough conversations with employees. In fact, an effective leader pays just as much attention to these responsibilities as they do in making sure their employees know they are valued and cared for.  

A great leader focuses a large portion of their efforts on contributing toward an engaging, high-performing, and fulfilling company culture. This can only be accomplished when employees feel like their emotional needs are met and that they are valued contributors to the company overall. 


9. “You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless they are willing to climb.” – Andrew Carnegie 


HR Quote 9 - Andrew Carnegie


This quote from Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist and major philanthropist of the 17th century, speaks to both a central caution and a central challenge of modern leadership. 

No matter how strong a leader is, they cannot push someone to success if they are not willing to put forth the effort to climb the ladder to success by themselves. While this quote seems to only establish a simple hard limit on what leaders cannot do, it also alludes to the responsibilities that are intrinsic to effective leadership itself. An employee has to be willing to the climbing themselves, but as a leader, it is part of your responsibilities to guide them to that ladder, demonstrating how to climb, and explaining what’s at the top to get them excited about the climb. Providing the motivation to succeed is part of an effective leader’s job. Recognizing this fact, and implementing it into your practice as a leader, is crucial to strong leadership development. 


10. “The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously your people will take you.” – John Maxwell 


HR Quote 10 - John Maxwell


This final quote comes from John Maxwell, an American author and motivational speaker, who firmly believes that a company cannot succeed without its leaders succeeding first. 

Great leaders know how to inspire employees, but they are also skilled enough themselves to be able to recognize when an employee is not receptive to their leadership tactics. Employees want to see their leader putting in just as much effort into their success as they do. Someone who takes their own growth seriously, and who adapts their methods to better suit their environment and to progress towards success, will be inspiring to those that work for them. Effective leadership is more than just being skilled in managing and communicating with their team; it hinges upon the own leader’s ability to learn and grow themselves.  


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