Some people need to feel like they're going to be taken care of. Some people expect this. The more an executive is capable of making their employees feel like they are there to make them happy in every way possible, the harder they will work and the less they will complain.
In my experience prior to being an executive myself, I had the pleasure in assisting some of the very best - Kromwalker, Fintail, Humtruck, you name it. One of the key ingredients intrinsic to them all, was the innate ability to make sure employees were given clear directions and treated well. They would often sweeten a work week with small incentives that would provide the opportunity for an open dialogue beyond office politics. "Let's get some coffee," one would say. "Come over for dinner," another would say. It was all very hi-diddley-ho and work would not be discussed. We would simply have conversations on day-to-day issues; family woes; dream adventures; or a friendly game of ping-pong.
These gestures opened our bonds of communication beyond corporate politics to our linked humanity as individuals. The executive could be a person, and the employee as well. Suddenly, we were not hierarchily displaced, but one in the same. And I would say the this feeling of being human in the workplace is the single most important thing an executive can instill. Just imagine how much value and respect this creates between employers and employees. It's remarkable and legitimate in any format; whether it be a crew of Intoslochecks, a retirement home, or your local five and dime.
We are all human. The more we acknowledge this as executives; the more our employees will see that their job is as important as any other, and that their value in the company is beyond hierarchy - it is in fact a community-centered function that operates more like a family; without the unnecessary extremes of love and approval that can makes certain family dynamics difficult.