Chaplaincy Programs

160312504Americans spend approximately 14 percent of their lives at work, which comes out to almost 11 straight years during the course of a lifetime. More than ever before, workers are in need of support to maintain their focus and strength at work while keeping up with personal commitments and relationships outside of the office. The burden and anxiety of our everyday work tasks and difficulties that we may face at home are inevitable; but I believe that corporate chaplaincy may be the answer to some of our challenges.

In an effort to serve spiritual needs, as well as provide comfort and support for our employees and franchisees, our company recently hired a full-time corporate chaplain in response to increasing demand for faith-based support in the office. It’s not just our employees who are looking for this kind of spiritual guidance. According to results from an ongoing study by Princeton University’s Faith & Work Initiative, many workers wish to live a holistic life that integrates, among other things, faith and work, but have few resources to help with that. Princeton found that those who have access to such services are dramatically more likely to use workplace chaplains compared to standard mental-health benefits. At least half of the 1,000 employees surveyed have used the services of a workplace chaplain – far more than those who use standard employee assistance programs.

Everyone is constantly facing a battle of their own. Companies across the nation are now hiring corporate chaplains and I believe we’ll see an increase in this trend, especially in the staffing industry, throughout the coming years. Every employee should feel that they have the resources available to them to feel secure, comfortable and emotionally supported in their professional work environment. Whether my employees are struggling with an aging parent, a sick spouse or financial concerns, I feel it is my duty to offer one-on-one support for my staff’s spiritual, physical and emotional needs.

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In addition, with the struggling economy causing significant stress on America’s workforce, I believe that a faith-based resource in the office offers some sort of solace and a bump in productivity. I know that it is imperative to make available a trusted and confidential third party so employees have someone to call at any time about a myriad of issues.

The corporate chaplaincy program at Express Employment Professionals offers employee counseling, crisis intervention, hospital visitations, marriage and funeral services and support for families who are struggling financially. I think sometimes people are simply more open to talking with a chaplain, and my hope is to help our employees and franchisees with everyday life issues. At Express, our corporate chaplain, Debbie Christian, does not actively evangelize, but instead provides caring support and spiritual guidance when needed. Additionally, the chaplain-sponsored programs offered to employees are not required, but are available for anyone who wishes to participate.

In addition to one-on-one support for employees and franchise owners, the new chaplaincy program offers family-based educational programs related to Alzheimer’s disease, aging parents, and addiction, as well as quarterly lunch-n-learn events, and a monthly devotional and prayer time.

Spirituality in the workplace is needed perhaps now more than ever in history. Our forefathers called on God for strength and wisdom for many important, life-changing decisions. Our employees and franchisees often turn to God for help, and we, in turn, we support them with the chaplaincy program.

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Bob Funk

Bob Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals.

Bob Funk

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