Editor's Note: This is the third article in a 7-part series on Army Materiel Command's enduring commitment to the Army Values as the organization celebrates its 58th birthday in August. This installment is focused on the Army Value of respect.REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Each Army Value – loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage – is essential to how an organization treats its employees and, in turn, how its employees respond to their daily workplace challenges. But, of these values, it is respect that lays the foundation on which the Army value system is built.In today’s society, as institutions emphasize the importance of valuing employees and ensuring they are treated equally and fairly, respect – treating people as they should be treated -- is where Army values begin. The Army and its largest civilian employer, Army Materiel Command, view respect as recognizing and appreciating the inherent dignity and worth of every employee.But where does respect start? How is this value instilled in employees? How is it exhibited in employee interactions?“Respect starts with self and how you allow others to treat you,” said Sgt. 1st Class Elaina Paxton, AMC’s Equal Opportunity advisor and program manager.“It’s allowing oneself to acknowledge, recognize and accept an individual for who they show them self to be and what they represent without imposing your own judgement. Respect sets the foundation. It influences mutual understandings, which can support increased communication and teamwork, and reduce stress and conflicts. Respect influences the command climate, culture and perceptions of the workforce.”Respectful attitudes emphasize the positive aspects of employee behavior, motivation and communication, said Paula Taylor, director of AMC’s Office of Diversity and Leadership.“Respect means to accept and appreciate each person just as they are, and accept what they have to offer,” she said. “It means to see and accept the good in people without quickly finding fault, judging or focusing on the negatives.”The Army Value of respect directs several of the organization’s Human Resource directives and is the basis of the work done in the areas of Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Leadership, and Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention.“Our SHARP Program is designed around the Army Value of respect,” said AMC SHARP Program Manager Kim Green.“Sexual harassment and sexual assault are violations that stem from disrespecting another person. We continue to emphasize treating one another within the workplace and community with dignity and respect. We promote a cultural change across our workplace with a vision toward a culture of discipline and respect in which our Soldiers, civilians and contractor workforce intervene in disrespectful situations to protect one another.”For most Army employees, respect doesn’t involve whether or not they commit a crime against their co-workers. Rather, it involves the way the treat each other in every day interactions.“Our Army leaders realize that a work environment where respect towards others is enforced and expected equates to a more productive and positive workforce,” Taylor said. “In a work environment where respect is promoted, employees tend to display a sense of ownership and comradery; they are typically less stressed and more healthy and productive; and standards are high and of good quality.”Studies have shown productivity does indeed increase when employees feel respected and valued, said AMC’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Maureen Trainor.“Respected and valued employees are happy employees – ones who are willing to contribute and complete the mission,” she said. “When respect is part of the workforce culture, leaders and team members make themselves available to each other, and leaders understand the philosophy of employee relations – compliment and praise in public, reprimand and correct in private.”Taylor, who oversees AMC’s efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity, said such programs would not exist if the Army did not promote the value of respect.“The Army and AMC is viewed as diverse and inclusive, and as an equal opportunity employer when employees are respected, when they feel valued, heard and empowered, and they have a true sense of belonging,” Taylor said.For Green and Trainor, they have personally witnessed the respectful and professional nature of AMC employees.“When we treat each other well it gets passed on to the next person,” Trainor said. “This behavior can be something as simple as holding a door open, smiling, being considerate or discreet. Showing respect encourages others to give respect as it helps with keeping conflict down in the work environment.”Kindness, courtesy, politeness, encouragement, active listening, an open door policy – all are aspects of showing respect both in the workplace and in personal situations, Green said.Like other Army Values in the workplace, respect begins with leadership and is always a two-way street, whether it is supervisor to employee, employee to employee, supervisor to supervisor or supervisor to leader.“When we encourage respect from others, it helps us to be able to express ourselves and feel trust in each other,” Trainor said. “Respect helps communication between employees, and creates cohesion and trust – all key factors to success and mission accomplishment.”