|Summary Video: Life happens. Employees are living the new normal: “We’re at work all day, every day, for our whole lives, and there’s obviously things that are happening outside of work that would potentially affect every aspect of your life, not just when you’re outside of work, but also when you’re in work.” Supervisors want to help: “When you have a person in crisis, you both want to care for the person, but you also have to make up for the fact that they’re not being productive.” More and more business owners are seeing these trends, and they are looking to corporate chaplains for help. Watch this video to see how their companies and their employees are enjoying the benefits of having a corporate chaplain in the workplace.
||Danielle Pellitteri, Vice President of Sales at Pellitteri Waste Systems, discusses how theChaplain Assistance Program benefits her employees more than a traditional EmployeeAssistance Program (EAP) would. It also allows her, as an employer, to help her employees with personal issues without the risk of crossing inappropriate boundaries. “The benefit is your people feel supported, and they are supported, and they get to have somebody outside of a manager,or an owner, or an HR person really truly care about them and following up with how they are doing in life.” For her employees, she sees her company’s chaplain “supporting them and being available to them as a resource when things are going great, and when things aren’t going so well.” Watch this video to see how Pellitteri has experienced the benefits of having a chaplain for herself and for her employees. She knows that no matter what comes up, she can trust that the company chaplain will be there to help.
|Chuck Hohnbaum, Chief of Staff to the President at InterVarsity, understands that “people come to work with a wide range of issues and concerns and burdens and joys in their lives. And to think that they don’t carry that into their work life would be a mistake. Our personal lives do make difference in how we work at the job. What the chaplaincy program does is it gives a safe place for people to think through and process with a trusted friend, someone that they can confide in, that’s not somebody they report to, it’s not somebody that they work with, but to begin to think through those issues that they’re bringing to work in a healthy, constructive way.” Watch this video to see how Hohnbaum has personally benefitted from the opportunity to have confidential conversations with the company chaplain, and how he has seen the chaplaincy program affect the culture of the organization “in a wonderful way.”
||Robert Dehnert, HR Manager at Pellitteri Waste Systems, discusses corporate chaplaincy from a Human Resources perspective. Dehnert explains, “It’s not a big capital outlay in regard to expense, but the return is great.” The chaplain is able to help employees work through the issues of life and, as a result, stay more focused at work. Dehnert saw this specifically with one employee who risked losing his house. Not only did the chaplain come alongside the employee through this stressful time, he also served as an outside problem solver who was able to help the employee work with the bank to keep his home. Dehnert understands the importance of helping the employees he has, but he also understands the costs associated with losing an employee, “IfI keep one employee that I would have lost without the program, it’s paid for itself that year.”Watch this video to hear Dehnert offer his thoughts and advice to any company considering a chaplaincy program for their employees.
|Kelly Brietzman, Operations Coordinator at Pellitteri Waste Systems, knows first hand the important role that corporate chaplains play in the lives of employees. For her and her husband,the divorce papers were signed and notarized; they just hadn’t sent them in. “Steve was the stepping stone to me and my husband saving our marriage.” Steve helped them get a counselor and went back and forth between her and her husband. Watch this video to hear her story, and to hear how Brietzman sees the chaplain as someone who has not only been there to listen to her, but who has helped other employees by providing a sounding board for many people at the company.
||Diane Hanson talks about why she serves as a corporate chaplain. “I enjoy helping people when they’re going through struggles.” Hanson understands that to get through life most people put up walls. Her hope is to build relationships with people and help them to let down those walls enough to get the help they need to deal with the struggles of life. With permission to share, Hanson is able to highlight the benefits that she has seen in the life of one employee by sharing briefly about the interactions that they have had. Hanson feels that the relational nature of the chaplaincy program allows employees to meet and get to know the chaplains before a crisis hits, making it easier to turn to them when help is needed. Incorporating her background in business and her desire to help those in need, watch this video to see why Hanson chose to get involved with workplace chaplaincy, and why she feels that it’s what’s missing in business.
|Mike Coyle, Owner of Coyle Carpet, explains how he has seen the value of a chaplaincy program from an owner’s perspective. Coyle initially asked Steve, the Owner and FoundingChaplain at Capital Chaplains, for help when he had an employee in crisis. Pleased with Steve’s ability to help and serve this employee, Coyle rolled out the program to the whole staff. “It’s difficult enough to run a business. We’d like to be able to help our employees through some of the crises, and we can do it now with the corporate chaplaincy.” While some employees had initial reservations, Coyle says, after seeing the program in action, 95% of his employees are using the program, and Terry, their corporate chaplain, has even performed the wedding services for employees who got married. Through crises, deaths, and marriages, the chaplain has been there to go through life with the employees. Watch this video to hear why Coyle believes that “Corporate chaplaincy really is a good value” and has created a better atmosphere within their store.
||Terry Erickson, serves as a chaplain at Coyle Carpet.He talks about his calling to be a chaplain,and how serving as a chaplain matches his gifts. Additionally, he discusses the need for chaplains in the workplace. Highlighted by the fact that he has received invitations to officiate weddings and funerals from the employees he serves, he sees that people don’t have clergy in their life when they need it, and this allows him to fill that role for those who want him to.Additionally,“a lot of the folks really just don’t have friends to process life with, and by being there on a regular basis, I’m able to process with them, and then moments where there’s crisis, I’m able to be involved.” At first people were very suspicious, but as he has built trust with them, and as issues come up, the employees now all welcome his presence. Watch this video to see how Erickson, as a corporate chaplain, has been able to serve the employees through hospital visits,by following up with employees who have been let go from the company for various reasons,and through working with the families of employees.
|Kathleen Kus, Service Advisor and Mechanic at the Engelhart Center, explains how the chaplaincy program works at the Engelhart Center. While she had initial reservations when she began working at a company with a chaplain, she soon realized that it made sense. “We’re at work all day, every day, for our whole lives, and there’s obviously things that are happening outside of work that would potentially affect every aspect of your life, not just when your outside of work, but also when you’re in work.” Offering the chaplaincy program was a way for her boss to acknowledge the stresses of life while letting his employees know that he genuinely cared about them. “It’s nice to have a presence like that… Not only does our boss care about us, butSteve [Owner and Founding Chaplain of Capital Chaplains] cares about us.” Watch this video to see how one employee understands the program, and why she turned from a skeptic into a supporter.
||Karen Miller, Office Manager at A&J Specialties, reminds us of the importance of confidentiality in the chaplaincy program. “Anything you talk to Mickey about is kept confidential, and that’s nice, because I don’t know who you can totally trust within an organization that is allowed to keep everything confidential.” As the office manager, she sees how comfortable everyone is with the corporate chaplain, and they all know that he is there to talk about anything. He was there for Miller when she dealt with the loss of her father and her mother-in-law, but he also tries to know what is going on in everyone’s life to celebrate, such as the when her grandchildren were born and her son got married. Watch this video to see more about why Miller feels: “With the chaplaincy program, you know that you’re just speaking to somebody that has your interest at heart.”
|Mickey Best has been serving as a corporate chaplain for several years. Every day he is at a company, he is walking alongside employees as they traverse life’s ups and downs. Whether it be family issues, parenting questions, or marital struggles, Best believes that “the greatest thing a person can do is to help other people. That’s what matters most, and corporate chaplaincy is just a great opportunity to do that.” While the work that he does helps the company and helps productivity, what matters most to Best is: “at the end of the day to feel like you’ve done something significant that really affects relationships and really helps people grow, what gets better than that?” Watch this video to hear Best explain why he truly enjoys serving as a corporate chaplain, helping employees, helping business owners, and helping businesses.
||Chris Barry, a welder at Dane Manufacturing, talks about the benefits of a corporate chaplain in a predominantly male work environment. “It helps keep the peace in the shop. A lot of the guys will sit there and talk about this guy and that guy.” While this “shop talk” may be the norm,Barry admits that when they discuss these issues with the chaplain, “It helps to talk about stuff like that. The chaplain I think really does help with personal problems, problems on the shop,conflicts with other employees, and financial, marital, depression, everything.” Watch this video to see why Barry thinks having a chaplain around really helps the guys in the shop, and why he feels that corporate chaplaincy really makes sense for a blue collar work environment.
|Travis Ganser, President and Owner of the Ganser Company, knows first hand: “When your personal life gets turned upside down, it does impact your work life.” He talks about his personal experiences with the corporate chaplain, and how he has seen the chaplaincy program benefit the company as a whole. Ganser’s wife was in the hospital and incapacitated due to complications with the birth of their child, and his child was in the NICU. Steve, Owner and Founding Chaplain at Capital Chaplains, gave him someone to talk to through this difficult time. For himself and his employees, Ganser has observed: “When people are whole at home, they are whole at work. Andw hen they are whole at work, they can produce the goals that you set out to produce.” Ganser understands that employees do a better job when they can better focus on their work, but that is not why they have the program. Watch this video to hear Ganser explain how the payback is more than just monetary.
||Jocelyn Dornfeld, Vice President at the Ganser Company, talks about how Steve, Owner andFounding Chaplain at Capital Chaplains, helped one of their employees through a sudden family crisis: “I don’t know if anyone really could ever be in her shoes and know what she’s thinking and try to help her the way that he did.” As the chaplain, “He was there for her. He helped her through it. And I do think that it allowed her to come back to work when she did and be able togo through life the way she is now.” Watch this video to hear more about the benefits of having a corporate chaplain for employees and company leadership as Dornfeld shares the benefits that she has both seen for her employees and personally experienced.
|Karon Morton, Vice President and Director of Operations at InterVarsity, discusses the tragedy that initiated the launch of a workplace chaplaincy program at InterVarsity’s NationalService Center (Madison, Wisconsin) and, as a manager, the benefits that she has seen since the implementation of the program. After the tragedy, Morton saw “such a pervasive effect on our community, most of us as managers didn’t feel that we had either the capacity or the expertise to help people walk through and deal with their thoughts and their feelings and their disappointments.” On a day to day basis, Morton acknowledges, “When you have a person in crisis, you both want to care for the person, but you also have to make up for the fact that they’re not being productive. They may be out for an extended period of time, or there may be fallout from their inability to perform their job function.” Like many managers, Morton believes that people are the most important asset in the organization, and they need to be cared for as such.Watch this video to see why Morton feels that having a corporate chaplain come alongside employees not only helps managers to care for their employees, but it also assures that managers are available to do their jobs with a higher level of productivity so that the organization can continue to run smoothly.
||Sandy Opsal, Assistant to the President at InterVarsity, talks about how the chaplain was there for her at just the right time to provide the resources and perspective she needed. During a time in her life that was overwhelming on several fronts, Shell, the chaplain, was there to listen and provide an objective point of view. Opsel discusses how Shell “seemed like she not only wanted to help me, but that she truly cared about me.” Now Opsal knows that the chaplain is someone that she can go to “with issues and problems and joys and sorrows,” but more than that, the chaplain has really become a friend in the process. Watch this video to see why Opsal sees chaplaincy as an invaluable benefit not just to her, personally, but to the organization as a whole.
|Nou Her, Donations Services Assistant at InterVarsity, talks about how the chaplaincy program has impacted her personally. Through a very chaotic time, it was helpful “just having someone there to tell my problems to… and to relate on a level that we are all humans.” Having someone trusted there to talk with and help her put things in perspective also helped Her to realize that when “I go through certain things that I go through in life, it’s essential that I not carry it alone.” When life gets chaotic, it can be difficult to know where to turn for peace and perspective. “What I really love about Capital Chaplains is the confidentiality of that, and to be able to go to a secure, safe, and trustful place.” Watch this video to see how Her feels the chaplains helped her to get her life back on track, and why she is now back to being able to give 110% at work.
||LaShawn Wanak, the Human Resources Assistant at InterVarsity, talks from an HR perspective about the company’s goals when they first introduced corporate chaplains into their workplace.While she has observed that, “it’s a very good benefit,” for the company as a whole, she also talks personally about her experiences. Watch this video to hear Wanak discuss what she has appreciated about the respectful, unobtrusive presence of the chaplains in her workplace.
|Shell Goar talks about the path that led her to be a corporate chaplain: beginning as a teenager when she was told that going into ministry was not an option for girls, and leading up to her retirement from her work as an EAP provider after suffering from compassion fatigue. After a couple years of retirement, she now has the opportunity to serve in the ministry as a corporate chaplain, and she loves it. “I’d love to share a lot of chaplaincy stories with you,” Shell begins, “however, probably our greatest gift to give anyone here is the gift of confidentiality and of privacy.” With permission, she shares one interaction, one way that she came alongside someone to help them see a difficult life situation in a new way, as a gift. Watch this video to see why Shell sees the opportunity to serve as a corporate chaplain as a gift, and to better understand gifts that she is able to share with others.
||Barb Moore, Receptionist at InterVarsity, talks about how the chaplaincy program has strengthened the community and improved the work environment. Talking to the chaplain has personally allowed her to decompress when work or family issues have come up, and she has also seen this benefit for the organization as a whole. “Before, people would walk around, sometimes with an attitude or issues that they really didn’t know what to do with or who to talk to…” With a chaplain to available for employees to talk through issues, “you can see the difference in people’s interactions with one another. … You don’t have the same tension level.” Watch this video to see how Moore has seen the chaplaincy program positively effect almost every corner of the organization.