Seeking Validation at Work

By Revd. Mary Hanna, CWC
 
It is a basic need for all of us in the workplace that we feel appreciated for what we do. Much stress at work arises out of staff feeling undervalued leading to a belief that what they do is of no importance. This affects self -worth and ultimately well-being.
 
As I reflect on the role of chaplains in the workplace, I am aware of how small our presence is in relation to the size of the organisations which host us. Our role is unique but frequently not well understood in the secular environment of the workplace. Chaplains too needs to feel validated in their role, to feel part of a wider team with all the social and psychological benefits that this confers. There are advantages for chaplains ‘working on the edges and margins’, to quote Woodward, but this can also be a lonely place to reside. So how do we ensure our role is understood and that our value is recognised?
 
Whenever possible we should link into our organisation’s human resources and wellbeing support services in order that our presence is highlighted and our roles and the benefits, we can confer to the workplace are better understood. Having a visible presence amongst staff and patients/service users will help ensure that we are in tune with changes and concerns ad that we are accessible.
 
 Of equal importance is to make opportunities to meet up with fellow chaplains in order to offer mutual support and to learn from one another. There are also numerous training and meetings where links can be established with colleagues. For those working in healthcare, the College of Health care Chaplains (CHCC) offers membership, courses and journals. There is also an annual 2/3-day conference: www.healthcarechaplains.org
For those working in mental health, there is the National Spirituality and Mental health Forum (NSMHF) for all practitioners and service users. www.spiritualitymentalhealth.org
 
Locally Cambridgeshire Workplace chaplaincy offers a monthly opportunity via zoom to link in with us and other chaplains. (See the link below in our newsletter). Your feedback as to how we can best support you will be invaluable to us in seeing to meet your needs.  
 
Revd. Mary Hanna, Trustee, CWC

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Jane Thompson

Jane Thompson, Freelance Marketing Consultant

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