Can you believe this?…Just a few weeks ago I attended the best banquet ever. There were about 1,500 people who experienced this highly, uplifting and patriotic event.
It was the Marketplace Chaplains Integrity Award Banquet, celebrating 30 years of chaplains caring for employees and their families and commemorating Patriot Day, 9-11.
During the event, two men received well-deserved Integrity Awards: LTG John A. Van Alstyne (U.S. Army, Ret.) and Dr. Charles R. “Chuck” Swindoll.
What is Marketplace Chaplains?
- A 24/7 Employee Assistance Program called Chaplain Care Program.
- Founded on the U.S. Military Chaplain Model.
- Built on regularly scheduled, weekly worksite visits without interrupting work, and confidential and trusting relationships with employees and their families.
- Serving in 1,016 USA cities and in 5 foreign countries.
- Providing guidance or help when events, crises, or tragedy, occur in our lives where we need someone to turn to.
- Encouraging and calming people, chaplains offer emotional support or provide referrals to social service agencies or employee assistance programs.
Every leader should subscribe to the Chaplain Care Program for the following three reasons.
Prior to 1997, when our company started subscribing to Marketplace Chaplains, employees were coming to me for counseling on personal matters.
It wasn’t long before realized I was getting over my head. As the boss, I understood that they shouldn’t be sharing these personal matters with me. I didn't want it to tarnish my thinking of their potential and performance as an employee.
The first reason to use this program is that it helps your employees. Here are some of the ways I saw our chaplains help our employees:
- It was amazing to see our chaplain jump in with the full effort to care for the families impacted by a tragic local truck accident where two of our employees died and a third was severely injured. He also reached out to help the other employees who lost their buddies in the accident.
- One employee and her family have always remembered when her father-in-law had surgery for cancer on his brain in Dallas, TX, and our chaplain in Wichita Falls, TX, 150 miles away, arranged for a chaplain in Dallas to go and stay with the family during the surgery at the Dallas hospital.
- An employee whose boyfriend was about to commit suicide when she got our chaplain involved in the middle of the night and saved his life.
- An employee said the chaplain saved his marriage.
- Our chaplain visited several times the son of an employee who was in the local hospital.
- Employees (and even former employees) who have had our chaplain conduct weddings for them and funerals for family members.
- One of our chaplains helped an employee cope with the aftermath of rape.
- An employee had a husband who was physically abusing her, and our chaplain assisted her in this situation.
As you can see, the list could go on and on.
Customers and Suppliers Win
The second reason to use Marketplace Chaplains is to help meet the needs of your customers and suppliers.
Often, our customers were under a lot of stress. Many were taking new jobs and had to uproot their families in order to move to the new place of employment. Some were moving because of divorce or death in the family.
We moved people all over the nation, from coast to coast. Our company frequently used other moving and storage companies (suppliers) to help service our customers in various markets across the country. These suppliers were a key part of how we served our customers.
We decided to extend the chaplain service to these two key groups. They offered their help:
- To a customer who is stressed over their move – by offering to come by their home to talk with them about their life issues…
- To a supplier who may have a crisis concerning an employee. For example – Once a supplier had an over-the-road driver who ran over and killed a person who stepped out in front of his truck on the Interstate Highway. We were able to send a chaplain to be on-site with the driver because he was pretty shaken up.
The Company Wins
The third reason to use the Chaplain Care Program is that Marketplace Chaplains will help your company. We started using this program to meet the needs that we saw in our employees, customers, and suppliers' lives.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV
We had no idea how the program would positively affect our company! The Chaplain Care Program helped us achieve the following results:
- Increase employee retention
- Decrease employee absenteeism
- Increase employee productivity
- Improve workplace safety
- Reduce employee stress
- Increase employee commitment to company goals and objectives
- Reduce employee conflicts
- Increase employee loyalty to the company
- Improve employee attitudes
- Increase employee morale and teamwork
If you stop and think about it, I bet you’ll conclude that this service is one of the best ways to help employees, customers, and suppliers when they are in need.
Did you know that this service existed before you read this blog post? Can you think of a way that a chaplain program could be used at your place of business?
Leave a comment on this post and share your perspective.