While the coming holiday season is a festive and happy time for many people, there are thousands in today’s hectic workplace that only feel additional stress and burdens, costing companies millions of dollars in absenteeism, turnover, poor customer service and low productivity.
Many of these issues have been successfully addressed and mitigated as top-rated companies are implementing the growing strategic initiative of Marketplace Chaplains USA.
Today, the innovative business service organization has more than 2,500 chaplains serving nearly 2,500 company locations. Marketplace Chaplain Care Teams serve nearly 500,000 workers and family members in 855 cities spread across 43 states and 4 foreign countries plus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
American company CEOs find Marketplace Chaplains vital for the coming 2011 holiday season.
“It’s a very stressful time for us and Chaplains are a big help,” said Ghyslain Chocolate CEO Ghyslain Maurais, who does a vast majority of his world-class chocolate business in the fall months from his Union City, Ohio headquarters.
Buzz Underill runs Squid Lips restaurants in Florida where the week between Christmas and New Years is his busiest of the year. He’s seen firsthand the stress “happy holidays” can bring.
“We have a lot of young employees in our company and you see the pressure of family issues popping up.”
“These times will further magnify dysfunctional relationships that were always there. Our Marketplace Chaplains are there all the time at the just right time.”
While many employees look forward to the holidays as a chance to take some time off and spend time with family, the work world never stops for those in the service or the hospitality business.
“We know it’s a busy time for many people and some wear themselves out during the holidays,” said Tennessee Marketplace Chaplain Richard Harper who helps oversee many hotel management and other companies served by Marketplace.
“We are training them to walk more closely with employees when they wear out. We pick them up when they fall down in the workplace.”
GSC Holdings, based in Northeast Texas, is one of the largest grocery and convenience store supply and distribution firms in the Southwest. Its Chairman and CEO, Mickey McKenzie, has seen firsthand the value of chaplains in the holiday season.
“For us, the holidays are especially difficult because we still have to work and get everything out.”
“We’ve found a lot of employees are by themselves during the holidays; they have no family or their friends have left. That’s where the Marketplace Chaplains do a great job,” McKenzie said,
“It’s supposed to be a happy time and everybody is festive, but for them there is nothing. That’s where our Chaplains help for the holidays, and really 365 days a year.”
Dallas, Texas Chaplain Ada Luevano ran into just such a situation as she was making her pre-holiday rounds.
“I had an employee start to tell me about her mother-in-law and the holidays, then all the stress and the pressure came out,” Luevano said. “It’s not that joyful a time for some people like it is for others.”
“Christmas is coming, but others have financial issues and maybe won’t be able to buy presents like they have in the past, or there are other family matters. That’s where we can come in and help.”
Steve Kerns, CEO of financial services company Insurmark in Houston, Texas, sees the stress of the end of the quarter requirement which comes with the holidays, but has also seen the success of Marketplace Chaplains.
“We have been ranked as one of the best places to work by the Houston Business Journal.
“You can’t put a monetary value on changed lives through our Marketplace Chaplains. In my company, we want to go forth boldly.”
Marketplace Chaplains President and COO, Richard S. De Witt, said the coming weeks are happy and memorable for some, but can be dark and miserable for others.
“Our caring workplace caregivers are there to fill a vital need at holiday time and every time for those who need a helping and healing hand.”
For more information on this fast-growing corporate strategic initiative, Marketplace Chaplains, which has been featured on the front page of USA Today and recently spotlighted on the NBC Nightly News and CNN (Cable News Network), visit www.mchapusa.com.