Corporations Find New Way To Improve Health Of Employees By Bringing A Pastor Into The Office

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   8/10/2012

Some of us struggle with sharing our faith and helping others in the workplace. A few have made a profession of it.

They're called "corporate chaplains," and their main mission is not to preach, but to build relationships and be available to help a client's employees in time of need.

What's a corporate chaplain?

He's a chaplain hired by a business or corporation to help meet the needs of its employees. As an employee benefits from the one-on-one counsel of a chaplain, the corporation benefits from greater morale and productivity within the workplace.

"...a corporate chaplain wears a lot of different hats," explained Chaplain Nate Schroeder in an interview with CitizenLink. "He is a pastor, but he's also a counselor, a life coach, and a gopher because of so many different things that he can do for the employees and the company."

Schroder began Corporate Care Services, a corporate chaplaincy program in St. Cloud MN, last January. He previously pastored at Discovery Church in St. Cloud MN. Since starting the chaplaincy program, he's made substantial impact in the lives of employees where he's been stationed.

In the interview with CitizenLink, Schroeder shared about a call he received from an employee who was planning a suicide.

"He knew where he was going to do it, when he was going to do it, how he was going to do it... he was serious," Schroeder said. He then arranged to meet this man, and after a few hours, "he realized that things going on in his life may not be that bad where the only option out is to kill himself." Schroeder then directed him to a hospital.

Schroeder is available to help a client's employees with personal issues like suicidal thoughts or a difficult marriage, but he also strives to meet the most urgent up-front needs, like an unreliable vehicle or daycare difficulties.

"You could have an employee who is missing a lot of work and, when you dig down deep enough, you find that person is having trouble finding suitable day care," Schroeder explained to the St. Cloud Times. "I might be able to find a couple of alternatives that not only make that employee more productive, but it gains loyalty from them for the company having someone reach out to them."

According to a report by Corporate Chaplains, Inc., GM and FORD, two companies who have used corporate chaplains, yielded an approximate $9 return for each dollar spent on the program. Additionally, GM reported a 72 percent reduction in accident and sickness disability benefits with chaplaincy use. (CCI is a chaplaincy program in Oklahoma from which Schroeder modeled his program.)

Corporate chaplains have existed for a few decades. According to Wikipedia, approximately 4,000 corporate chaplains operate in the United States. Wikipedia notes research from Marketplace Chaplains USA, which reported that the turnover rate at Taco Bells in Texas dropped by nearly one-third after corporate chaplains were brought in.

A corporate chaplain may be compared to an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), but a corporate chaplain seems to reach more people and is generally less expensive for the corporation.

How does he do it?

Schroeder's goal is to build relationships with people so that when they reach a time of need, they know who to call. He attempts to make contact with each employee once per week at a time when it doesn't interfere with work responsibilities.

"All interaction is voluntary and confidential," wrote Kevin Allenspach of the St. Cloud Times who wrote of Schroeder's position. "The goal is to reduce stress, improve morale, increase loyalty and promote productivity."

Though Schroeder's position is not as "preacher," the demands on his time certainly would be similar to a pastor: he's on call 24-7.

Yet that is where care is confirmed- being available in a time of need, no matter what time that may be. And it appears that the boost in employee care and morale is important enough to corporations these days to make it a priority.

Bill Haycraft, President of Frontier State Bank, offered a comment in CCI's presentation: "...it would be hard to imagine this company without [chaplaincy] help. I wonder how we got along without that, I just don't know how we could've coped with all the issues this past year without Corporate Care [Inc.]."

DelightMedia.com


Current Catalog

Reader Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!
Write a Comment

Please keep comments civil and on-topic. Abusive or inappropriate comments will be removed without warning.

 Name (required)   
 Email Address (required)   
 Website URL 
Comment  
How Christianity Made the Modern World

The books shows how through century after century, Bible-believing Christians put their faith into action to help those who were unable to help themselves. In an age where Christians are often marginalized and where secular reporters with their warped anti-Christ agenda decry much of what our forefather did or even deny the West's Christian heritage, then this book is refreshing, life-giving and invigorating rain from heaven, soaked in facts, history, testimony and personal observation in country after country and place after place. Christianity is truly responsible for the success of the modern world.

The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success

Rodney Stark tells how Christianity gave rise not only to visions of reason and progress but also to the construction of capitalism. Stark shows that Christianity is a forward-looking religion, with bold faith in progress and in its followers' abilities to understand God over time. It was this future-based rational theology that encouraged the development of technical and organizational advances, such as the monastic estates and universities of the Middle Ages. Stark concludes by maintaining that Christianity continues to spread in places like Africa, China and Latin America because of its faith in progress. One could draw a conclusion from this work, that Christianity is the cornerstone of global economic development.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

David Platt reflects a wider move of God through which He is stirring His people to live radically for Him to finish discipline all nations (Mt. 24:14 and Mt 28:18-20). Platt urges us to discover Jesus as our sole treasure, to lay aside everything that keeps us from pursuing Him above all else, and to realize that "It's Not About Me." This is the complete opposite message that the world is telling us, that we are the center of the universe and we should live for our personal desires and ambitions without a care in the world for anyone else. The maturity of evil is complete selfishness, while the maturity of righteousness is complete abandonment of selfishness. The harvest is ready.

Business for the Glory of God

When students ask, “How can I serve God with my life?” they don’t often hear the answer, “Go into business”. But that is exactly what this book says. Grudem says, “human desires to increase the production of goods and services are not in themselves greedy or materialistic or evil. Rather, such desires to be productive represent God-given desires to dominion over the earth as He created us to do.” Grudem also explains that significant temptations accompany all productions of goods and services, which we need to resist. This is not a ‘Health and Wealth’ gospel, but a biblical looks at the goodness of business.