Company: Mike Patton Auto Family
Company Size: 100 employees
Type of Company: Automobile retail dealer group
Years Utilizing Chaplain Services: 9 years
Why did you decide to bring a chaplain into your company? I realized that our business was given to us to steward for God’s purposes. In an effort to minister to and care for the employees under our stewardship, I had an open door policy and encouraged them to come and talk with me about whatever was on their mind. I found that they were never going to share their true struggles with the guy that signs their check. They needed a confidential source that they could trust. This led me to Corporate Chaplains.
What value does your chaplain bring to your company? Every employee, at one time or another, comes to work with issues on their mind. These issues and struggles keep their minds occupied and unable to focus on work. Having a chaplain available gives them the opportunity to talk out their issues, often finding solutions. This frees them up to do their jobs more efficiently. That is the short term return.
The long term return is that our employees are impacted every week by someone (our chaplain) who cares about them and will point them toward God. There is no way to measure the value of this eternal impact on them and their families and friends. All I know is that we will one day look back and wish we had done even more to point people toward an eternal relationship with God. For now, this is the best program we have to do this.
Share a story of when your chaplain helped you or an employee? We had a fairly young sales manager suffer from a heart attack in the showroom of our business. He did not survive. Within 45 minutes, our chaplain had dropped what he was doing elsewhere and arrived at our business to talk with the upset employees. He was by my side at the hospital when we had to tell the wife and mother of their loss. He led a memorial service in our dealership for the family and employees, allowing closure for both. That whole situation would have been much more difficult and less impactful without his help.
Favorite aspect about chaplaincy? The consistency is my favorite aspect. Our chaplain is there week in and week out. He is dependable and our employees have come to fully trust him. They know they can count on him to be there when they need him.
How would you describe the benefits of chaplaincy to another owner? I cannot imagine a better program for a Christian that wants to impact others with his or her business. We work hard with many programs and initiatives to impact our employees, customers, and community for God, but the chaplain program is by far the most effective.
Should a company be concerned about legal matters of having a chaplain? I don’t believe that should be a concern. CCA trains their chaplains continuously and at a high level. They go to great lengths to make sure their chaplains are aware of the legal landscape. Everything they do is “by permission” of the employee. In our nine years with CCA, we have never had a single legal issue.