12 motivational quotes to create an excellent company culture

Company culture is crucial for building morale, enhancing productivity and reducing turnover. These quotes should inspire a positive workplace environment.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:

When it comes to job hunting, salaries aren’t the only thing on a jobseeker’s radar. 

Today, a positive company culture is sought after, and for current employees, it’s fundamental to their job satisfaction and overall wellbeing. 

Motivational quotes can act as a guide for both leaders and employees alike, inspiring them to create environments where they can thrive professionally. Quotes that emphasise values like teamwork and good communication can resonate well with employees, reinforcing the importance of a supportive workplace culture.

This article will share inspirational quotes and explore how they can motivate you and your teams.

Top 12 company culture quotes

There are many ways to set a positive culture in your business, whether it’s through meetings, 121s or internal communications. We’ve chosen 12 quotes to inspire this positive change and motivate your employees.

1. “There’s no magic formula for a great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” – Richard Branson, Co-Founder of Virgin Group

Lesson: A simple, yet effective message of the old saying: treat others how you want to be treated. It’s about putting yourself in your employees’ shoes and thinking about what a good work environment would look like for you. Once you have a good idea, you can integrate it into your own company culture. Hotel group Hilton apparently treats its staff as well as its guests, reflected  by an average rating of 4.0 on Indeed for its employee satisfaction and good management practices.

2. “Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer and political commentator

Lesson: A strong company culture involves open communication. Not everyone is going to agree with you, so it’s important to foster an environment where different viewpoints are heard and considered. “Psychological safety” should also be practised to make employees feel like they can speak up without worrying about punishment. “Employees should argue back” is part of Netflix’s new culture memo, which encourages leaders to listen to employee feedback, no matter what level.

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

Lesson: Employees want to feel appreciated and have their work acknowledged. So when someone does a good job, make sure they know it. Whether it’s during their next 121, announced to the team or just acknowledged in passing, taking the time to recognise an employee’s contributions goes a long way in boosting morale. Cisco took this a step further with its peer-to-peer Connection Recognition program to reward employees for their achievements.

4. “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

Lesson: Employees want to be seen as individuals, not just a number or a small clog in the machine. Showing genuine interest in their strengths, offering a good work-life balance and allowing flexibility creates a good sense of belonging, motivating them to excel in their roles. Google is acclaimed for its family-friendly policies, allowing employees to progress professionally without sacrificing their free time.

5. “One of our values is that you should be looking out for each other. Everyone should try to make the lives of everyone else who works here a little bit simpler.” – Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder of Slack

Lesson: This quote emphasises the importance of mutual support within a workplace. Employees need to look out for each other, not only to improve teamwork but also to build a sense of community and shared responsibility. Team-building activities and encouraging cross-departmental cooperation are good ways to encourage this. Slack lives up to this through its empathy principles by embracing a working style of being warm, kind and accessible to all.

6. “Companies are communities. There’s a spirit of working together. Communities are not a place where a few people allow themselves to be singled out as solely responsible for success.” – Henry Mintzberg, author and professor of management

Lesson: While recognising individual efforts are important, overall success should be attributed to the team’s collective contributions. Celebrating collaborative efforts reinforces a good culture of teamwork and unity within an organisation, which helps to motivate employees further. D2C marketing company Golden Hippo celebrates its employees’ milestones through its “win of the week” program that celebrates innovative approaches and successful outcomes.

7. “There’s really no such thing as internal culture any more. Your culture is always public, and it’s your most powerful, public-facing asset or liability.” – David Mattin, Head of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching

Lesson: Organisational culture doesn’t just matter internally. It also influences how your company is perceived by clients, partners and the public. With a good company culture, external parties will see your organisation as trustworthy and reliable, leading to stronger relationships and increased customer loyalty

8. “If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you’re in trouble.” – Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft

Lesson: The workplace isn’t high school, and the ostracisation of “geeks” and “nerds” should be long outgrown by the time you start in the working world. Successful results don’t come from popularity but from the brains and hard work of individuals who collaborate effectively. 

9. “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

Lesson: Companies hire people to fill roles that require specific skills and expertise. When hiring experienced individuals, it’s important to trust in their abilities. Good leaders entrust their team members to take ownership of their work, creating a sense of accountability.

10. “Determine what behaviours and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them.” – Brittany Forsyth, Former VP of Human Relations at Shopify

Lesson: Culture fit is important, but it doesn’t necessarily mean after-work drinks or office banter. All employees should follow your company’s values, demonstrating them in their actions. This establishes a productive work environment where everyone contributes to the company’s mission

11. “Financial Resources may be the lifeblood of a company, but human resources are the brain.” – Rob Silzer, Managing Director at HR Assessment and Development, Inc.

Lesson: While financial resources provide the necessary capital for operations and growth, HR incorporates the “human” elements for productivity and organisational success. Company culture is an obvious part of that equation, and understanding its impact is important for fostering a cohesive and high-performing team.

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

Lesson: From the wise words of the Greek philosopher, success isn’t through occasional acts of effort, but through consistent behaviours. A good culture doesn’t mean random and spontaneous acts of appreciation to employees, but a consistent practice of recognition and support.

The importance of company culture: the bottom line

A strong, positive culture is key to attracting and retaining employees, boosting productivity and ultimately driving growth. It represents a company’s values, which should be reflected in the work environment.

45% of UK employees consider a “great company culture” the most important factor when looking for work, whilst 75% of employees claimed to have experienced a “toxic workplace culture” in 2023.

Meanwhile, flexibility and well-being are often valued the most for increasing staff retention.

Providing a positive culture pays off for businesses too. Research from PwC Global reported that 70% of senior managers credited culture with gaining a competitive advantage.


Motivational quotes aren’t there to make the office look pretty. Culture is the backbone of a company’s values, and quotes like the ones above are there to emphasise its importance.

Mutual respect, open communication, recognising employee efforts and celebrating team success are all essential components of a positive company culture. By embracing these quotes, businesses can motivate their own teams and build an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered.

Written by:
With over 3 years expertise in Fintech, Emily has first hand experience of both startup culture and creating a diverse range of creative and technical content. As Startups Writer, her news articles and topical pieces cover the small business landscape and keep our SME audience up to date on everything they need to know.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top