Chaplains have been in the workplace for centuries… “they’re typically there because of pain or suffering or fear”

Most professional chaplains are found in health care settings, providing care to patients and their families as they go through the physical and emotional challenges of illness and treatment. However, there are many who work in corporate settings, and one of the largest employers in the world, the US military, deploys almost 3,000 Chaplains in the armed services, providing religious services and counseling. Many other countries do the same for their warriors.

“The US Chaplain Corps dates back to 29 July 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized one chaplain for each regiment of the Continental Army,” according to Wikipedia. Private corporations such as General Motors, Tyson Foods and Coca-Cola, began to provide chaplains for their employees in the 1990’s. Tyson’s hires about 100 chaplains to physically be there with their workers, to support them with the challenges they face each day.

“When they’re out in the field, they’re typically there because of pain or suffering or fear. Think about military chaplains. Think about hospital chaplains,” said David Miller, professor of business ethics and director of Princeton University’s Faith and Work Initiative. “Is there any pain, suffering or fear in the corporate world? You betcha.” … employees don’t have to encounter trials at work to struggle at the office, Miller told HR Dive in an interview.

“We bring our worries from home to work,” he said. Anxiety about a sick child may delay a big report, Miller offered. Struggles with alcoholism may drown out information delivered in a Monday morning meeting. “For many people, the way they get through rocky times is their faith, to anchor them, to get them through the challenging patch,” Miller said.

Why has the tradition of Chaplains in the workplace lasted through the centuries? One reason is trust. Soldiers know they can share their thoughts and feelings with the chaplain and it will not go further. It will not go on their record. And it will not go to their commanding officer. “Employees who are hesitant to discuss their personal issues with their boss or the Human Resources department can talk without fear to the chaplain… Staying away from preaching and proselytizing, workplace chaplains can improve morale, productivity, and well-being.”

Improving health, morale, productivity… this is the business case for The Company Chaplain. We won’t be there physically in your workplace–we’re online only, making our services more affordable and available when you need us.

Please check out our Counseling and CompanyRounds services and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!


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