Frequently Asked Questions
What is Corporate Chaplaincy?
Corporate chaplaincy provides employers the opportunity to offer a Chaplain Assistance Program (CAP) benefit to their employees. A CAP is a personal, voluntary, and confidential employee care benefit available to employees and their households and immediate families; sponsored by the company, chaplains are provided by a chaplaincy provider.
Corporate chaplaincy provides the benefit of caring, compassionate chaplains available to serve all employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Chaplains help employees connect with the resources they need in order to reduce stress and help the company to run more smoothly. Chaplains are there to assure that employees do not have to feel alone when life gets overwhelming; they also assure that managers are not alone when trying to deal with the complex personal situations that employees bring to work. As chaplains build relationships with employees, they are available to provide support and encouragement when things are going well. They are also there to help facilitate creative problem solving when employees are struggling with any number of personal issues.
What is Capital Chaplains LLC?
Capital Chaplains is an organization that provides chaplaincy services to companies in the Capital Region of South-Central Wisconsin. Through Capital Chaplains, companies have an opportunity to offer a Chaplain Assistance Program (CAP) as an employee benefit, outsourcing stress management and employee care to a business that cares for businesses. This one action demonstrates and communicates the high value the organization places on caring for the personal and family needs of their people.
Our mission is to reach out and bring care where it is needed most and where it can make a meaningful difference.
Why should my business have a corporate chaplaincy program?
The current economic crisis is taking its toll on more than just people’s pocketbooks. The additional emotional distress is hitting families, and many Americans are taking this stress to work with them each day. Even when the economy is strong, the fast pace, pressures, and distractions of everyday life create the reality that most employees are barely able to hang on. Working seven days a week, fulfilling the responsibilities of home, running tired and overwhelmed most of the time: all contribute to the fact that many people today have run out of margin in their lives and do not have anyone to turn to during the challenging times of life. Difficulties and challenges that employees face outside of the workplace come to work with them and result in low productivity, low morale, and high absenteeism.
Corporate chaplaincy makes good business sense. Take appropriate care of your employees and they will take care of business. Hundreds of companies are discovering the human resource and bottom-line benefits of having a chaplain weekly on the premises and available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in case of an emergency, crisis, or other need. Through our Chaplain Assistance Program (CAP), employers can demonstrate that they care about those they lead.
The tangible benefits of corporate chaplaincy are numerous: from improved attitudes, cooperation, and performance to increased loyalty and commitment to the job. Decreases in anxiety and stress coupled with greater company loyalty all result in a lower turnover rate and higher productivity, which have a direct positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
Why is this service important for employers as well as their employees?
Offering a CAP as an optional employee benefit provides the needed competitive edge when it comes to hiring top talent. Additionally, companies offering CAPs report much higher usage rates than traditional Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), simply because of the relational nature of corporate chaplaincy. Most employers recognize that absenteeism and turnover can create a significant cost to the business or corporation. In addition, an employee who is focused on a personal problem, rather than on work, is sometimes the cause of expensive errors or accidents.
Being proactive in caring for the life, emotional, and spiritual needs of employees actually can save a company money in the long run. Simply stated, when the individual employee gets help, the family gets help, and the company’s bottom line improves. As Tim Embry (the CEO of American LubeFast, which has 70 stores and 500 employees) said, corporate chaplaincy is like “an employee assistance program on steroids!” This same CEO says, “Starting our chaplaincy program was the best thing I have ever done in business.”
What are the benefits a chaplain offers to help the company’s management team?
Chaplains are available to serve the rank-and-file employees as well as the company leaders. In addition to being available to help executives and managers resolve personal problems, chaplains serve as a resource for company leaders and are always available to respond quickly to special requests from company leaders for any type of assistance.
With a chaplain in the workplace, managers can focus on the productivity of the company and doing that for which they are trained, rather than on the plethora of relational issues that otherwise seem to consume so much time—often these issues are outside the scope of the manager’s expertise as well. A Chaplain Assistance Program, therefore, frees managers to do what they do best—and allows the chaplain to do what he or she does best for the benefit of all involved.
How does a Chaplain Assistance Program (CAP) differ from an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
While an Employee Assistance Program can be an important asset to any employee group, it is often underutilized or unable to address the initial onset of a concern. An on-site chaplain is frequently able to facilitate the identification of a concern and its early resolution or potential referral to the EAP provider.
Specifically, a Chaplain Assistance Program can add benefits beyond a traditional Employee Assistance Program in the following ways:
- A CAP is designed so that chaplains build relationships with employees and are available for conversation regarding issues large and small. Often a small issue never becomes a large one because resources, such as Capital Chaplains, are accessible, personal, and available early on.
- A CAP offers an extensive range of personal assistance. These services include hospital visitation, home visitation, jail visitation, and personal encouragement—not only in the marketplace, but also by phone and/ or mail. Our availability also extends to weddings and funeral services.
- A CAP attends to the individual employees directly because we are committed to regularly being available and developing personal relationships with employees through visits to their place of work.
- A CAP offers on-site chaplains who provide a caring, proactive approach to improving the quality of life for the employees and the organization. The chaplain is a person with whom the employee has a relationship and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- The chaplain will help the employee articulate his/ her need and connect with an EAP sooner and more effectively.
Don’t chaplains in the workplace interfere with employees getting their jobs done and/ or create safety hazards?
The amount of time a chaplain spends visiting employees in the workplace is dependent upon the number of employees with whom he or she has conversations, as well as the number of business locations being served. The typical workplace chaplain/ employee interface lasts only a few minutes and occurs regularly (usually weekly). If the employee would like to have a more in-depth discussion or requests additional assistance from the chaplain, follow-up conversations are arranged outside of work hours. These arrangements may include sending an email, a phone call, or getting together at break or lunch time. Additionally, a more in-depth discussion may occur at a neutral location, or possibly even the employee’s home.
If a prolonged visit at the workplace appears necessary, the supervisor’s approval would be required before any such meeting took place. Usually, only a brief conversation is needed to bring hope, encouragement, and a “fresh set of eyes and ears” to a problem.
Do chaplains “push religion” or focus primarily on the religious needs of employees?
No. Our chaplains are sensitive to any needs employees may have. Our Chaplain Assistance Program approach is based on the military or hospital chaplain model – a neutral, nurturing, and always available caregiver – and focuses on helping employees and families better manage and respond to basic personal life and work issues. Because it is not an organized religious program, nothing is done that violates religious discrimination, civil rights, or privacy laws.
“Some companies are adding a new position to the staff: a corporate chaplain. It’s not about religion. It’s about increasing productivity.”â€¨ -ABC News
How will the program be introduced to my employees?
Before a chaplain starts work with a company, an orientation meeting is held to explain the ground rules, including chaplain confidentiality. This meeting is similar in tone and function to other benefits orientation meetings, with a time for questions and answers. At the end of the orientation, employees receive a business card with the chaplain’s cell phone number, email, etc. The chaplain’s contact information is also posted on bulletin boards and listed in other company communication vehicles.
How will the chaplain care for employees?
Every week, the chaplain will make a brief personal contact with every employee who desires it. While providing an uplifting moment of encouragement, the chaplain will build care relationships with the employees. Additionally, employees can call their chaplain any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to help with personal crisis management.
According to surveys done by Outreach Canada of companies with chaplains, 70% of employees will contact a chaplain they know from work, while only 5% who will use the toll-free number to contact a company’s EAP.
What about employees who may not want a chaplain?
At the orientation meeting, employees learn that they, not the chaplain or the company, make all decisions about interaction. In practice, all or most employees eventually come to appreciate the benefit of having someone “safe” to talk with, and they enjoy a good relationship with the chaplain simply because the chaplain is there for no other reason than to care.
What types of cases typically involve chaplains?
Chaplains are certified to enter jail facilities, emergency rooms, and accident scenes. Chaplains will assist employees with issues pertaining to hospital care, family and marriage care, substance abuse, stress management, and interpersonal conflicts. Chaplains can also officiate at wedding ceremonies and funeral services.
Does the chaplain provide long-term counseling services?
Chaplains will not provide counseling services, but chaplains will provide care for those who are in need of professional counseling by helping to connect them with a suitable counselor, either from the company’s insurance network or from our own referral network.
When is the chaplain available, and how does an employee contact a chaplain when special needs arise?
The chaplain is available via cell phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Because our chaplains visit each contracted location on a regular (usually weekly) basis, employees often ask for assistance directly. Our chaplains can also be contacted via e-mail. Since we come to know the employees by way of a weekly brief contact, there are very few barriers to initiating a discussion and following-up with regards to any concerns on successive visits.
What type of special training will my chaplain have?
Because a thorough understanding of the function of the workplace environment is essential, all chaplains have experience providing care in a variety of marketplace settings. A well-rounded educational background, including seminary training, is also required.
Does Capital Chaplains require Chaplains to be affiliated with any specific church or denomination?
Can a business chaplain effectively care for employees from varied religious backgrounds?
Yes. Chaplains are skilled workplace caregivers who are trained in providing care in a diverse environment.
How is Capital Chaplains funded?
A flat fee is charged based on the number of employees, which means that invoicing is predictable. There are no additional fees based on number of crisis interventions or hours of service. A modest honorarium is suggested for chaplains officiating at weddings and funerals.
How is Capital Chaplains organized?
Capital Chaplains is a for-profit LLC licensed in the State of Wisconsin.
Is there a legal concern associated with offering a Chaplain Assistance Program?
No. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination by employers with 15 or more workers. Under Title VII, employers:
- May not treat employees or job applicants more or less favorably because of their religious beliefs.
- May not force employees to participate in a religious activity.
- Must reasonably accommodate employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
- Must take steps to prevent religious harassment of their employees.
Chaplains are also familiar with, and work within, the parameters of the White House Guidelines for Religion in the Federal Workplace.
Furthermore, during more than 60 years of workplace chaplaincy history, no company offering a Chaplain Assistance Program, nor any chaplain agency, has been the target of litigation concerning chaplain care. When a Chaplain Assistance Program is voluntary and non-denominational, it fulfills the positive requirement of enhancing a faith and diversity friendly environment in the workplace.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
What are the benefits of outsourcing chaplaincy rather than hiring my own chaplain?
There are several benefits to outsourcing chaplain care. First, outsourcing is more cost effective than hiring a full-time staff person. Second, Capital Chaplain’s support network gives your company access to other trained, experienced chaplains. Finally, outsourcing chaplain services provides greater confidentiality and objectivity.
If you would like to explore how our Chaplain Assistance Program can be of value to your employees, executive team and organization, please contact us.