16 Magical phrases that every employee needs to hear

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As much as motivation elates morale and commitment, lack of it makes employees under-perform and finally leave the job, despite your company being the best place to work.

It’s not always the pay hikes, work benefits, rewards and other perks that drive people to be more creative and productive. A rewarding job does not always guarantee good performance and employee satisfaction.

Many employees report lack of acknowledgement, guidance, availability and appreciation from bosses, as factors that gradually lead to their loss of interest in work.

Ever heard an experienced professional say, “Back then, my company gave a good pay rise and I performed my best”?

On the contrary, I only heard people narrate the inspirational stories, or regret the audacity of their bosses, that kept them going or sunk them completely. The way their boss and the company treated their employees are remembered more than the extrinsic rewards.

Therefore, what goes a long way, is the fire you light in them! Not under them!


`phrases uplift employee motivation

Magical phrases that uplift employee motivation

Words are powerful, use them for good!

To keep people inspired and retain your best employees, creating an ethical climate and positive organizational behavior is essential. The key to this is through appreciation.

Appreciation can be articulated through rewards (extrinsic), recognizing efforts, valuing their presence, giving encouragement, trusting people- Intrinsic.

Employees feel motivated when their performance receives genuine acknowledgement from their supervisor. A person who feels appreciated always does more than expected.

A list of simple phrases that you would have undermined, but are surprisingly effective in uplifting an employee’s motivation.

1. “Thank you”

Acknowledgement: A simple, no fuss, but an effective way to show appreciation for an employee’s contribution or assistance on a job. A nice appreciation need not always be for prodigious contributions, or measurable achievements only. Even a simple act like staying late to finish an additional task, helping another team member, supporting the change process, are things to show that you are grateful.

2. “What do you think”?

Inclusion: We all talk about empowerment all the time. But in a real-business-scenario it translates just to assigning bigger responsibilities without letting employees feel like they belong here!!

Let them feel that their opinions matter. Employee’s suggestions matter because, they are the doers, they understand the intricacies in the process, and hence, their ideas cannot be ruled out in the decision-making process.

Also, policies and decisions made by higher management being inconsiderate, restrictive, without preparation and prior notice, result in employee dissatisfaction. Their motivational levels drop drastically. Hence, this evokes employees to be less supportive, overall.

3.“I know you can do it”

Trust: Having trust in their capability is the biggest motivational factor to your employees. It means that, the employee and his/her work is held in high regard. The greatest inspiration to employees is that you trust them. When you do, they ensure to deliver the best of their ability by minimizing the errors. This directly influences the quality of work.

4. “This is why”

Information/Transparency: Employees often feel ambiguous due to lack of information and direction. They have no idea about the cause and effects of anything happening inside the organization.

If you want your team to embrace change with grace, inform them, in advance. Don’t treat them with surprises. Let them know why a new policy is yet to be implemented and what it means to the company, how it impacts them and how to cope with it.

5. “I’ll be happy to see you grow”

Let your employees grow:. Show that you are enthusiastic about their growth as much as they are! Discuss their growth prospects within the company and their chance at applying for internal job positions and other roles.

The indispensable employee: If an employee possesses a rare skill that is a greatest value to your team, and your business gets disrupted in their absence, yet don’t restrict their growth opportunities. Let them grow. Make opportunities available for them to excel in their career. Have more people trained on that skill before the employee leaves or moves to other roles.

Tenured employee: Tenured employees with their hard work and commitment, develop and sustain potential to take up challenging roles etc. Do not hinder their growth. Their career advancement is your achievement too. You were their mentor. Be proud of them, and not threatened by them. 

6. “Let’s move on!” 

Positive mindset: Freedom is not worth having, if it does not connote freedom to err”– M.K.Gandhi. And you never should expect someone to do better by withholding their liberty to do the job. It’s illogical to expect people to excel in such conditions.

In business however, there are affordable, controllable, harmless errors and non-affordable(high-risk) errors. The focal point here, though, is not about allowing people to make errors, but about giving the freedom to operate effectively in their job.

When you hire an employee, trust your hiring skill or hiring team, that, employees ARE qualified to do the job. Let them move on, in case they commit mistakes or errors. It’s a natural process of learning and developing. Help them rectify and give them support and assurance.

phrases uplift employee motivation

Don’t criticize in public, provide constructive feedback. It helps them get back on their feet and in being extra vigilant next time. Let your team understand the error-prone methods, for learning purposes, but without accusing or singling out an employee.

7. “How can I help” ?

Offering assistance when needed. All employees are not the same. Even if they are equally qualified, their speed and skill may differ. Some of them are self-motivated and need no assistance while others may need that extra push.

When you are aware that your employee is struggling with getting ahead in a process, offer them help. Don’t leave them clueless, letting them figure it all by themselves, resulting in loss of productive time, and other resources. Ultimately, that is a big blow to their confidence, if the process fails.

8. “Awesome this is exactly what I was hoping to see”

Clear expectations: When people know the kind of outcome that satisfies you the most, it encourages them to deliver the same continuously. A new employee or an average-tenured employee always wonders where his boss’s contentment lies. If they understand your expectations better, they streamline and focus more on the job they’re expected to do.

9. “You did it better”

Recognizing improvement: By saying this you are not only appreciating the good work done, but you are keeping a track of their progress.

10. “That’s a great idea”

Contemplating contributions: When employees give great ideas acknowledge them. Don’t kill their creativity and innovation, because it did not come from you. Give them previously handled cases and ask their approach. Let them exercise their brain to see how differently they would handle it.

11. “You are good at this” 

Highlighting strengthsTell them what their strength is, they will remember it forever. A good manager, a mentor, should be able to see what people don’t see in themselves.

Every employee is unique and has a skill others may not possess. Explore their professional strengths by assigning them different roles. See if they excel in it.

An average performer of the team is usually more versatile. Additionally, rather than witnessing an under-performer struggle with his/her performance, swap their roles to see if their skills match the new role.

Sometimes it’s just the ineffective profile positioning, that they end up in wrong places that are not suitable for them. So, working with their strengths is a win-win for everyone. 

12.Let us do it”

Teaming up: It’s not always a boss- subordinate relationship that helps foster good working environment. Sometimes, you need to rely on each other’s strengths to achieve results. Partnering with them, gives them a great boost of support and inspiration. It strengthens the work ties, improves work relations, keeps the team together working for a common goal.

After all, getting the tasks done, while keeping people happy is your ultimate responsibility.

13. “Sorry”

Own responsibility: When you know you’re wrong, admitting it makes you wiser and respectable than using your authority to cover your mistakes. Employees look up to you as their mentor, hence, ensure you are not being an example for the best “worst boss”.

14. “Is everything alright”?

Humanize: the manager in you. Employees have personal lives too. And sometimes, hurdles in personal life can disrupt their work. Even though it is not in your job description to know the details of their personal life, yet moral support gives them positive affirmation. Don’t blindly ignore the obvious!

15. “You are important!”

Signifying their presence: Many things go unnoticed when you are all lost in the vicious operations cycle. Companies have no way to account for these insider aspects. It’s a manager’s quirk to ensure all good deeds of an employee are recognized and exemplified so the team can learn too.

Let them know how their presence makes the team complete. Appreciate their commendable traits. Drawing attention to their positives helps them build confidence and aids in personal development too. When employees feel, praiseworthy, respected and valued they stay loyal. They constantly thrive to be competent.

16. “It’s all yours now”

Let them lead, When you assign a project or an important task. Give proper directions, provide resources, explain expectations, offer to help when needed and bingo just LET THEM DO. Do not constantly overlook through their shoulders. No micro-managing.

Allow your people to make a mark toward significance, don’t let them feel that they are being spied, because you doubt their qualification and skill to do the job. Or because you’re afraid they’ll make mistakes.

Finally Basic Courtesy:

Many people are usually reluctant to even greet their team members.

You can never expect to build rapport at work without being congenial, or without even addressing a person by their name. It’s about personalization! How can you expect your employees to trust you when they realize you don’t even acknowledge they exist in your team? A gentle smile, a hand-shake, a gracious meet-n-greet makes employees feel good about being in your team. This applies generally to the one-over managers, remotely working managers who ignore this simple act.


In conclusion, motivation is not confined to these phrases. These are examples that embark on various aspects of motivating an employee. We must emphasize on these values through words and actions. For more inspiration read here.

Help them craft their career, whether, or not, they acknowledge your mentorship! Be a role model through actions not just words.

Let us know if you think of any other phrases that help in boosting employees confidence. Post your comments below.

This article on “How employees’ creativity suffers at micro and macro level”might be of interest to you

Examples of demotivating employees:

While you are genuinely making efforts to keep your employees motivated, hold back the unintentional words and actions that demotivate them.



  • “Because I am the Boss” – kind of behavior
  • Being the last person to appreciate your team
  • Over promising- about progression or promotion and failing to deliver
  • Appearing to be busy all the time
  • Being often forgetful – Requiring updates every day
  • Spying on your team
  • Calling for meetings that should have ideally been discussed in an email
  • Not paying attention – Pretending to listen
  • Getting aggressive when results turn out unexpected
  • Being apathetic – Caring nothing other than productivity
  • Being too cutthroat about rules and regulations
  • Asking for ideas, nodding head but ignoring every word


Rajeshwari Ogirala

Rajeshwari is a writer, Biz Development Manager. Passionate about people and personal development. Believes in sharing her knowledge and instilling positive work culture in people.

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