Kansas City Star: Corporate chaplains add spiritual dimension to employee assistance
Bob Hodgdon has always treated his 100 employees at Hodgdon Powder Co. in Overland Park as family. However, there are times when even the closest families need outside support.
“We had a lady in our office who died of breast cancer a couple of years ago,” said Hodgdon, whose company manufactures propellants for gun hobbyists who load their own ammunition. “We did what we could to help, such as sending employees with her when she went for treatment, but it still was hard as a staff to deal with the emotional stress and grief.”
That experience led him to look for additional resources to help employees through difficult times. In mid-February, Hodgdon Powder contracted with a corporate chaplain.
Chaplains usually work on contract through a company’s employee assistance program, just as a counselor would. They visit client offices regularly to build relationships with employees and are on call 24/7. Employee participation is both voluntary and confidential.
Although the military, police and hospitals have worked with chaplains for years, they are fairly new to the workplace, said Dan Erickson, founder of People Matter Ministries in Lee’s Summit. ...