How Worksite Chaplains Can Benefit Your Organization

Researchers at GM and Ford have studied the results of using corporate Chaplains and have found a $9 return for every $1 invested in such programs.

It’s a well known fact that happy employees contribute mightily to an organization’s bottom line, and Corporate Chaplaincy is one way to keep employees happy. General Motors, Ford, Coca-Cola and Tyson Foods are several major organizations that retain on-site chaplains.  To see the variety of benefits a workplace chaplaincy program offers, click the headings below.


One of the most noticeable impacts of using an in-house corporate chaplain is a marked improvement in the areas of absenteeism and “presenteeism,” or coming to work with one’s body, while leaving one’s heart and mind at home.  Absenteeism and presenteeism account for the highest productivity loss factors in the workplace.  In fact, research shows that presenteeism accounts for as much as 80% of costs associated with lost productivity, while absenteeism accounts for the other 20%.  It stands to reason that an on-site resource to discuss struggles with will help decrease these factors and return the employee back to being a productive team member.


A Chaplain in the workplace can help employees work through the personal conflicts and issues that contribute to low morale and a fractured work environment. When employees are able to work through personal struggles in a confidential and supportive way, morale goes up, and performance draining conflicts and corporate cynicism go down.


Estimates vary, but most experts agree that the costs associated with employee turnover can be 50% to 150% of an employee’s annual salary.  An in-house Chaplaincy program can help improve employee retention through direct intervention by a Chaplain for employees at risk of voluntary or involuntary termination.


Surveys consistently point out that employees place appreciation, inclusion and assistance with personal issues ahead of money, job security and promotions at work.  And employees working for companies that have in-house Chaplains cheerfully say that they believe their organization truly cares for their well-being.  In fact, 87% of employees in one survey said they would work harder for a company that is willing to help them with their personal problems.


It’s a fact that 90% of workplace absenteeism is due to personal or family issues.  (In fact, workers with depression take 10% more days off work than their non-depressed counterparts.)  So when employees are offered the care they need to help them with their issues, they build an emotional resilience in the organization and, as a result, increased productivity.


When employees are able to resolve stress and emotional problems through a corporate chaplaincy program, they tend to file fewer health claims.  A U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Services study compiled data from several studies and concluded that such programs are highly cost effective for such measures as reduction in sickness and accident benefits, mental healthcare costs, absenteeism, lost wages and other medical costs.


Along with the measurable benefits that a corporate chaplaincy program offers, there are many outside benefits that can’t be easily measured.  Those benefits include:

  • Saving troubled marriages and desperate lives.
  • Improved service among employees working with customers.
  • Reduced internal conflicts.
  • Increased management effectiveness.
  • Decreased risk of litigation.
  • Decreased risk of violence in the workplace.

“Employers who turn to corporate chaplains may do so not only out of concern for their employees’ mental health, but also out of a desire to boost productivity, morale, and retention.”

Society for Human Resource Management