Marketplace Chaplains Help Employees Handle Grief in the Workplace

December 13, 2011  |   tagGeneral

In the best, and more importantly in the worst of times, Marketplace Chaplains have proven to be expertly trained, and a valuable resource in helping employees handle grief in the workplace. This strategic initiative employed by many top  companies in America not only helps people, but ultimately improves the overall financial health of a company.

According to a recent U.S. district court ruling, an employee sued an employer for being insensitive to their grief. Taking care of the employees as Marketplace Chaplains does for hundreds of companies nationally and abroad is an applicable and legally sound workplace management practice.

“The Marketplace chaplain team has always been there for our employees – in good times and in bad,” said Britton Lui, Director of Human Resources for Hoselton Auto Mall in East Rochester, New York.

“The chaplain team has been present at funerals for our employees and their families, whether here in town or across
the country. Their care and support have been such a blessing in that time of great need. We are grateful for this level of support for our employees and their families.”

According to a landmark 2003 study by the Grief Recovery Institute in Sherman Oaks, California, employee heartbreak costs U.S. employers $75 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, and increased errors and accidents. The most costly grief incident for businesses is a death of a loved one, accounting for $37.5 billion per year in losses. About 1 in 4 employees is grieving at any given time.

“Our chaplain team was with us along the way during his treatment –calling and comforting and praying,” said Carlsbad, New Mexico, Intrepid Potash Human Resources Director Jackie Webb, whose husband passed away after a long battle with cancer earlier this year. “I will say, even though I had good support from my own family, friends and church, I know our chaplains grieved right along with me.”

Marketplace Chaplains’ more than 2,500 chaplains are specially trained in helping employees deal with grief, which in turn allows the employees to productively return to work quicker.

“As chaplains, we have the privilege of coming alongside people who are drowning in grief to give them hope as we help them better understand and work through the many dimensions of their sorrow toward acceptance of the new reality they face,” said Dallas-based Marketplace Chaplain Charlotte Turner.

Chaplain Wes Sullivan of Long Beach, California, holds grief training seminars, working with other Marketplace Chaplains to expand their grief preparedness for every situation.

“The most important thing to remember is that this death is uniquely and individually tragic,” Sullivan said.  “There are no cookie cutter remarks or services that can be appropriate.”

Jamie Whyte, Director of Risk Management and Human Resources for multi-state Intrepid Potash, said having Marketplace Chaplains specially trained in grief management has been a huge help to his company.

“Marketplace Chaplains continues to be the most profound service we offer our employees,” said Whyte. “They meet a need that just cannot be met by any other service provider.”

Chaplains help alleviate the growing responsibility companies and Human Resources professionals have in helping
employees deal with grief; this difficult burden can last for years with any one person.