A few sincere words of appreciation and gratitude can create a lasting impact on people.

With the increasing need to deliver appreciation frequently and in small doses, sometimes it’s challenging to develop the right words to elaborate on your “Thank you”s.

That’s why we’ve created an inspirational list of 50 employee appreciation quotes, so you don’t struggle when writing your following appreciation note.

Go ahead and use these meaningful quotes to motivate employees and show your gratitude for their valuable contributions.

30 Inspirational and motivational quotes for employee appreciation

1. “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” - Alfred North Whitehead

2. “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” - James Allen

3. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero

4. “Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” - Tom Hopkins

5. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - Simon Sinek

6. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy

7. “Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.” - William Makepeace Thackeray

8. “A great employee is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.” -Tammy Cohen

9. “I have found that the more I honored others, the more they honored me and the more fulfilling my career became. In the business arena, I have been surrounded by people with awesome skills. The difference between good and great is determined by the mindset you choose to bring to the work. The concept of honor should be part of that mindset.” - Douglas Conant

10. “If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are?” –T. S. Eliot ‍

As you sift those ten quotes over in your mind and before you move on to the next ten, here is American author Leo F. Buscaglia waxing about the importance of a timely and well-meaning compliment: “Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

11. “People make the difference. And one of those people is you. Thank you for making a difference in our company.” - Anonymous

12. “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” - Voltaire

13. “Take time to appreciate employees, and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.” - Bob Nelson

14. “Even a brief interaction can change the way people think about themselves, their leaders, and the future. Each of those many connections you make has the potential to become a high point or a low point in someone’s day.” - Douglas Conant

15. “If you do not treat people with the respect they deserve, do not expect any commitment to your productivity goals and target.” – Ian Fuhr, founder, and CEO of the Sorbet group. - Ian Fuhr

16. “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 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

17. “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

18. “When a manager recognizes an employee’s behavior, personally and sincerely, both feel proud, gratified, and happy. There’s a human connection that transcends the immediate culture to create a shared bond. The power of this bond is stronger than you might think; indeed, it’s the power that holds together great organizational cultures.” - Erik Mosley ‍

19. “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

20. “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

As you let the weight of those quotes sink in, hear our Ronald Reagan, the former US President, who once famously said: “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.”

21. “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

22. "Coming together is a beginning... Keeping together is progress... Working together is a success." - Henry Ford

23. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” - Simon Sinek

24. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” - Stephen R Covey

25. “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

26. “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

27. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

28. “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” - Steven Pressfield

29. “Make it a habit to tell people to thank you, to express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” - Ralph Marston

30. “On a personal level, I send out about 20 thank-you notes a day to staffers, on all levels. And every six weeks, I have lunch with a group of a dozen or so employees, to get their perspective on the business, to address problems, and to get feedback.” - Douglas Conant

Wrapping Up

These quotes by top business personalities, industry leaders, and other eminent personalities indicate the importance of employees for an organization. These quotes would prove very useful for employee recognition at your company.

Build highly engaged and high-performing teams with Empuls!

Discover how people leaders are building engaged teams through continuous feedback and improvement.

Employee Engagement
Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph LinkedIn

Rani Joseph comes with a decade-long experience across the value chain of content and brand marketing. She currently is the Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Xoxoday.