Over the past few years I’ve bumped into a few business types who treated people as interchangeable widgets. As long as you had enough bodies everything was ok. While this mode of thinking is wrong on so many levels it actually produces the opposite results of what is intended.
When a business treats people like cogs in a machine the people then treat the business in return like a machine. They distance themselves emotionally from it, they have no vested interest in its success, and worst of all, and they feel no sense of commitment or loyalty to it. This mutual distancing attitude results in high turnover rates that cost both the business and the employee a large amount of time, knowledge and money. The systems, services, and products of the business never are improved upon. Wisdom is limited to one generation of employees. The healthy learning and growth process for the business and the employee are stagnated.
People are never means to financial success or a raging empire. People are ends in and of themselves. If a business truly understands this and saturates ever aspect of its operations with it they will have: substantially lower turnover rates, fiercely loyal staff, lifelong friends, money out the wazoo, fun, and most importantly they will have built something that is good.