Would you buy a nice, new car and never change the oil in your engine? Of course not. If you wanted your valuable car to perform at its best and get you where you needed to go, you would faithfully have the oil changed at the prescribed intervals detailed in the owner’s manual.
An engine requires care. If you never changed the oil in your car once you drove it off the dealer’s lot, the engine’s performance would be okay for several thousand miles, but eventually you would run into big trouble. According to HowStuffWorks.com, “Oil is an essential lubricant in your engine. It lets metal press against metal without damage…Without oil, the metal-on-metal friction creates so much heat that eventually the surfaces weld themselves together and the engine seizes. Which is not good if you’re trying to get somewhere.”
Your employees are like the engine of a car. Without an engine, a car is not going anywhere. And just like engine needs oil, employees require care by creating a meaningful, purposeful and civilized environment that allows people and processes to work efficiently and smoothly. Creating a great company culture is like the oil that prevents damage to the moving parts of the engine and reduces friction.
It doesn’t really matter how nice a car looks on the inside or outside, without a well-maintained engine the car is not going anywhere. In comparison, it does not matter how elaborate or expensive your company campus, lobby, offices or paintings hanging on the wall are, if your employees are not treated with care, the organization will suffer. Eventually, people and processes will slow down, tempers will flare, heat and friction will rise dramatically, and eventually the company will seize up.