Employee Engagement, Mental Health & Workplace Chaplaincy

By Tony Guagliardo, Marketplace Chaplains

As a leader at your company, you know how challenging these days are in terms of finding and keeping talent in your company, mental health issues affecting your employees, and more. Certainly, these are unprecedented times to lead people in the marketplace. Curiosity and necessity compel leaders to continue pondering what will make our company successful in terms of attracting and retaining talent and addressing mental health needs in the workplace; what will make our workplace a “sticky” environment where talent will want to not only come but stay for a significant period of time?

As a frame of reference, employee engagement is critical to the health of a company. According to research by Smarp which is an employee communication platform, on the positive side engaged employees boost productivity by 21%, reduce absenteeism by 41%, as well as boost morale and customer service among other metrics. On the negative side, unengaged employees cost U.S. businesses over $500 Billion off the bottom line in lost productivity, not to mention negative effects on turnover, safety, retention and more. Regarding mental health, 45% of adults report increased stress and anxiety negatively affecting their mental health; 53% of employees surveyed by Harvard Business Review said they feel more exhausted; and 75% of employees feel more socially isolated.

Many of the company leaders that Marketplace Chaplains serves have come to appreciate the personal connection as well as the compassionate care and support Marketplace Chaplains provides to their employees and families members in need. We frequently receive feedback about how much comfort, friendship, help and encouragement our Chaplains bring to employees and beyond. They appreciate the visibility and availability of our Chaplains who are onsite at the workplace and available after hours 24/7 as needs arise.  The way our Chaplains fit into the caring culture a company is developing or wants to develop can truly elevate that company to a more significant level of engagement (defined as the emotional commitment an employee has to its company) with its employees, thereby making it a “stickier” company. The Chaplains become part of the family fabric of the company, acting as Christ’s ambassadors first but also ambassadors for the leaders of the company, extending care and support in ways they could not imagine on their own.

As an example of that extension of care, one of the companies served by Marketplace Chaplains recently shared that one of its leaders had advised them of his potential departure to a competitor, and at the same time the father of that leader had just passed away. One of the Marketplace Chaplains who serves this company had already developed a relationship with this leader, and he was praying/mourning with the leader and his mother as the father of the leader had passed away, and the Chaplain asked if the leader wanted a Chaplain to visit his father’s funeral to which the leader said yes (it was in another state). Shortly thereafter, this company informed us that this leader wrote them a letter stating he was remaining with the company because of Marketplace Chaplains’ support and the company caring enough to have a Chaplain for him and his family.

Be encouraged that there is hope in these challenges times.  As Christian leaders, above profits, products and processes, put your people first and figure out the best ways to make your company a sticky company by ensuring employee engagement is the best it can be.  Knowing we reap what we sow and knowing the importance of relationships in the Kingdom’s economy, consider the personal touch that Chaplains can bring to your employees, building a culture of caring that will bring a harvest not only for your company but ultimately for His Kingdom. You employ the whole person, and Marketplace Chaplains can help you care for the whole person with God’s love and compassion.