I think the most important thing is treating people humanely. By that I mean keeping in mind that they are living breathing and autonomous beings and understanding that yes, they are there for the paycheck.
The worst place I worked for (average staying time was about 2 months, no joke) was run by a mad woman who had no concept of that. She had learned in business school that the most important thing was that people feel valued and stable. So she would say: "We value you so much! What would we ever do without you? You are doing such a good job!"
BUT she'd throw a fit if it was suggested that maybe they shouldn't pay half of market rate. Meetings and what she thought of as "fun" projects were unpaid (because we weren't really working.) She would fire people after lots of positive feedback. Now I won't lie - the people she fired were not that great, but I thought it was just awful to fire them after telling them how wonderful they were for a month and not actually saying, "I need you to do X instead." (Not to mention the fact that she had to hire people with very poor references to even keep the place partially staffed.)
So in other words her actions pretty much said, "You aren't worth our money, and I might axe you tomorrow for whatever reason. So people quit in droves. The company was actually doing pretty poorly because of that. She upped the talk and never walked the walk. Just as an example - the billing clerk made about 40% of what he could get elsewhere and had an insane amount of work. So the position was filled about 6 months out of the year by accounting students whose other option was to work at McDonalds for the same amount. Once the students had it on their resume they would get a better job making twice as much with better hours and quit. It would take forever to find another clerk who would work for low pay. Oh, and hiring billing clerks who have only worked at McDonalds? They were never as aggressive as they should have been on outstanding accounts. It never occurred to her that by being too cheap to pay a couple of thousand for a real billing clerk, she was forgoing hundreds of thousands every month from clients who had no one making them pay up. Seriously, the outstanding A/R was in the seven figures.
Instead The Boss just kept reading books about how to make people feel "valued" and paid the lip service. I don't think she ever stopped to say, "Well what would a human actually need in life."