Chaplains in the Workplace: FAQs
What is Corporate Chaplaincy?
Corporate Chaplaincy is an in-company service that provides care and compassion to employees who are dealing with life’s many pressures. Simply put, corporate chaplains “walk the halls” as a visible and accessible resource that workers can engage with — one-on-one and in strict confidence — to get help working through the personal issues that are distracting them from performing at their best.
What is the Role of a Chaplain in the Workplace?
A Worksite Chaplain literally walks the halls of an organization in order to walk through life with employees. In doing so, they are able to offer employees and their families a caring and trusted resource, trained in creative problem solving, who is available round-the-clock to assist with personal life issues. Chaplains support employees by serving as a confidential listener and a non-biased, friendly resource. But more than just listening, they offer assistance, guidance and outside resources to help the employee as they walk through difficult times.
The Appeal of Chaplains in the Workplace
Chaplains are a rising regiment of corporate America’s human-resources army, as employers have found that a pastoral touch is often more appealing to workers than an impersonal hotline of the sort included in many benefits packages.
Why Would a Company Offer a Corporate Chaplain to Employees?
Successful business owners and managers realize that an employee’s true value extends well beyond a simple production output number. They view the workforce as a family of valued team members who work together for a common goal. And if one member is experiencing personal struggles, then the team struggles as a whole. Successful businesses know employees have a life outside of work and that outside pressures don’t subside at the company’s front door. So they provide a trusted resource in the form of a Corporate Chaplain to employees who will help them deal with those struggles so that the team member can continue to add value to the organization, but more importantly, so that the individual can begin to feel better and be able to function to the best of their ability at work AND at home.
How does Corporate Chaplaincy Differ from an EAP (Employee Assistance Program)?
Less than 1% of employees utilize the counseling benefits of their EAP programs because of the impersonal, “institutionalized” nature of such programs.
More than 80% of employees working for companies with in-house corporate Chaplains turn to those Chaplains for assistance.
An in-house Chaplaincy program can ENHANCE the utilization of the EAP program by virtue of the relationship building aspect between the employee and the Chaplain.
Most employers will confuse the specialized service provided by Worksite Chaplains as something that is already furnished through the company’s existing Employee Assistance Program. But the “counseling” services provided by most EAP plans are phone-based helplines manned by a pool of counselors on the other end of the line (and possible on the other side of the globe).
The stark reality is that EAP “crisis line” services are rarely utilized by employees, who seek more of a personal relationship with the individual with whom they’re seeking assistance for deep-rooted issues. (Studies show that less than 1% of employees utilize EAP counseling services solely because of the impersonal nature of the service.)
Because we walk the shop floor, Worksite Chaplains can offer one-on-one face time, assuring the employee of a sincere, caring, confidential relationship, and that the conversation is not being recorded.
Knowing this, more employees will be open to using the onsite personalized services provided by Worksite Chaplains, and by doing so will ultimately become instrumental in benefiting the organization as a whole.
What About Confidentiality?
All conversations between your Worksite Chaplain and employees remain in strict confidence. Our Chaplains do not report the content of conversations to management or any other party. Employees should feel safe to talk about any issues they’re dealing with in their personal and professional lives.
It should also be noted that, since Chaplains are not professional counselors, there may be times when certain issues present the need for such. In those instances, the Chaplain will discuss referral options with the employee, and assist the employee in making any referral introductions.
Do Chaplains Bring Religion to Work?
It’s Not About Religion. It’s About Improving Productivity.
Worksite Chaplains are present to provide personal care for employees, regardless of religious affiliation, faith level, personal beliefs or background. Sure, if an employee wants to converse over spiritual matters then the Chaplain is happy to engage, but only if the employee brings it up. Our Chaplains are there to listen, encourage, advise on practical matters and assist employees and their families in dealing with life issues in a healthy, relational manner.
Eye-Opening Work-Life Statistics
Life is hard. Then you go to work. Since we spend more than a third of our lives in a work setting, how can we NOT bring our personal issues along with us? Here are some interesting statistics on how employees maintain that work-life balance.
- 90% of absenteeism is due to personal/family problems.
- 60% of employees have trouble focusing on their job.
- 40% of top professionals rank work/personal life balance as the #1 marketplace issue.
- The majority of employees have NO resources for help with personal and family problems.
- 87% of employees say they would work harder for a company that is willing to help with their personal problems.
How has the recession affected workers? The picture isn’t too pretty, according to this “Futurity” study entitled, “Survey Reveals Anxious, Glum American Workers.”
(Source: Capital Chaplains, Middleton, WI)
Corporate Chaplains in the News
Here are some great articles that demonstrate how a workplace chaplaincy program can benefit employees, the corporate environment, and the business as a whole.
- “Chaplains In The Workplace” (Andy Higgins radio interview podcasted by WHKW-AM 1220 in Cleveland, 09/16/14)
- “Corporate Chaplains” (Andy Higgins byline article in Smart Business Cleveland, 08/06/14)
- “The Enormous Cost of Unhappy Employees” (Inc., 08/27/14)
- “Putting Faith in the Business” (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 10/18/14)
- “Survey Reveals Anxious, Glum American Workers” (Futurity, 09/01/14)
- “The Rise of the Corporate Chaplain” (Businessweek, 08/23/12)
- “Praying With the Office Chaplain” (The Wall Street Journal, 06/23/10)
- “Pastor Turns Calling Into a Business” (USA Today, 06/13/12)
- “Spirituality and the Bottom Line” (Cleveland Business Connects, 06/11/14)
FAQs didn’t answer your question?
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Give us a call at (216) 978-3555 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have in considering whether a chaplain assistance program is the right fit for your business.
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