People of All Faiths Are at the Heart of What We Do
Duane Kuck, Regal Boats
July 13, 2021
My mom and dad, Paul and Carol Kuck, founded our family company, Regal Marine Industries, in 1969. From the beginning, my dad used to say, “We’re in the people business, and we build great boats.”
We still believe that today. We strive to put People First, embracing policies that many Evergreen® businesses support—competitive pay and benefits, professional development and training opportunities, and an employee hardship fund, among them. Another powerful way we have found to support our team for over 20 years now is by providing workplace chaplains.
We know that our 750 team members come to work each day with a wide variety of goals, concerns, and challenges, and we want them to have a resource to address not only professional issues but to support their spiritual and emotional wellbeing. We want our team to know that we will walk with them when life is good and help them when they struggle—because we all do.
The chaplains we employ through Marketplace Chaplains, a third-party service, are integrated into the company as caregivers. We consider them part of the Regal family, and they support team members in a variety of ways. Throughout the work week, male and female chaplains spend time at the company, visiting and checking in with the team. Currently, we have six different chaplains who rotate through the company any given week and who, as a group, reflect the diversity of our team. They are charged with supporting team members of all faiths, without any agenda or bias.
The interaction between chaplains and team members is often very casual—they are connecting as caring friends, asking after people’s families, and building trusted relationships. As those relationships develop, the chaplains often have a deep knowledge of an employee’s family and personal life and are able to step in to provide comfort and counseling when a challenge arises and share in the joy of positive life events. Our chaplains have officiated at Regal employees’ weddings and funerals, provided marital counseling, and shared in many other milestone events among our team.
While some companies do employ full-time chaplains as members of their team, we appreciate the separation of working through a third-party provider because of the confidence it offers team members around confidentiality. We don’t receive any information about any interactions between the chaplains and team members, which we think allows for more authentic sharing around potentially sensitive topics. That’s the approach we have taken, but there are certainly a variety of ways to provide this benefit for your team.
After 20 years of offering Regal team members this resource, workplace chaplains remain a core pillar of our benefits. But the benefit is one tile of the larger mosaic of our People First picture. It’s one more way we can support the whole person as they come to work each day at our company, which is what this is really all about. We love to build boats, and it’s awesome that we get to do that, but at the end of the day, it’s people that are at the heart of what we do.
Duane Kuck is CEO of Regal Boats.