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5 inspiring human resources quotes for HR professionals

As a leader, you should always strive for continuous learning and personal development. One smart habit to adopt is a morning routine: highest achievers have one. Try waking up early to begin the day with positive thoughts and some reading to help you improve yourself.

Here are five inspirational HR quotes to get your day started on the right foot:

1. “Every good conversation starts with listening.” – Tom Haak

Take this advice from HR executive Tom Haak and hear employees out. Be a sympathetic and proactive resource—and be ready to respond to complaints and suggestions. One of the 7 deadly HR sins is failing to be action-oriented. As PI Recruiter Will Otto said, “If you ask managers to come to you about performance issues, you need to be ready to follow-up with the right people.”

Harvard Business Review analyzed behavioral data of 3,492 managers who were in a development program to become better coaches. HBRs goal was to identify the differences between average and great listeners. It compiled a list of characteristics that make managers climb the ranks to be the best kind of listeners for their employees. Here’s what HBR found:

Rather than staying silent during conversations, the best listeners engage in two-way dialogue, making suggestions, asking questions, and acting as a sounding board for the other person. Good listeners pay attention to non-verbal cues and keep the focus on the other person. If you’re naturally dominant with the drive to have control over your environment, be aware of your natural tendency to commandeer the conversation and avoid that behavior.

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

As an HR leader, your list of responsibilities goes way beyond arranging benefits and having tough conversations about employee behavior or performance. Make sure your employees know that you care about them as human beings by focusing a good portion of your efforts on facilitating an enviably engaging, high-performing, and fulfilling company culture.

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

This human resources quote, which comes from the CRO of Rise People, speaks to understanding what makes your employees tick. If you want to build a better company culture and working environment for your employees, go straight to the source and ask your people what they want and need. Schedule a 1:1 meeting, send a survey, or have a casual conversation. Use the insights you collect to move forward with the changes that matter most to your people.

You can also have all the employees at your organization take a behavioral assessment. Not only will this help you understand their natural drives (which manifest as the behaviors you experience in the workplace), providing employees with their behavioral report will help build self-awareness of their strengths and caution areas.  

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4. “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

There’s a lot of truth to this classic quote from former AlliedSignal CEO Lawrence Bossidy. The candidate experience is increasingly important for attracting and retaining top performers. In fact, 78 percent of candidates reporting that it’s a huge indicator of how companies value their people, according to recent research from CareerBuilder.

Don’t hire just to fill a spot—and don’t forget about employees after a few months on the job.

Make sure you’re choosing the candidates who are an excellent fit for the position and helping them succeed by offering relevant training and facilitating impactful collaboration.

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

Listen to these words of wisdom from Sir Richard Branson, the iconic and largely influential founder of the Virgin Group. Give your employees top-notch treatment not just because it will help them perform better for your company, but also because they deserve it.

PI recently sat down to talk with Larry O’Toole, founder of moving company Gentle Giant. He attributed much of his success to hiring the right people—and developing leaders. O’Toole said, “Even if somebody says they want a job for two months, we treat them as if they’re going to be here for the rest of their life.”

Apply these human resources quotes to your everyday work life.

Even the best leaders need a nudge of motivation every once in a while. Here’s hoping these wise words guide you to your next success.

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Erin heads up content marketing at PI. Her claim to fame? She's the only Erin Balsa on LinkedIn.

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