Staff's Great Service Rewarded with Great Service

United FCU's concierge service runs errands for employees, free of charge.

March 25, 2014

Have you ever daydreamed about someone else taking in your car for an oil change?

Or counted the number of hours you’ve lost from your life while dropping off and picking up dry cleaning?

Or wished you could figure out a way to avoid dragging little Johnny past the candy aisle in the supermarket, just this one time?

Employees at United Federal Credit Union now have at their disposal a tool that can spare them some of life’s everyday frustrations.

The $1.6 billion asset credit union, headquartered in St. Joseph, Mich., recently contracted with Best Upon Request to provide concierge services for its roughly 425 employees in six states.

CEO Gary Easterling seized on the idea as a means of rewarding staff after United Federal garnered the Michigan Credit Union League’s Outstanding Credit Union of the Year award in 2013 and also grabbed a national honor.

What better way to reward great service than with access to great service?

“In striving to meet the needs of members over what has been a stressful last few years, it never ceases to amaze me how much our people give of their time,” Easterling says. “So, when this idea was presented to me, my first thought was, ‘Man, this is a way to give some time back to my people.’

“And when all is said and done, time is probably the most precious commodity all of us have.”

Oh, and did we mention employees get this perk for free?

United Federal picks up the concierge tab, so employees only pay what they would’ve had they run the errand themselves.

“This does not move the needle very much on total benefits cost,” Easterling says. “For what I think this’ll do for our team, it’s not that much money to potentially make a big impact.”

The soft rollout in December got off to a good start with complimentary gift -wrapping.

Although services vary by region, Easterling says Best Upon Request aims to fulfill errand requests whenever possible, in addition to event planning and information research services.

Also, the concierge staff has been known to solicit company-wide wish lists for major runs to wholesale retailers like Sam’s Club or Costco.

It didn’t take long for Easterling to witness the payoff . A United Federal team leader got swamped one afternoon and forgot to fulfill his wife’s request for an item—but remembered in time to ask a concierge to pick it up for him before his evening commute.

“I’m going home a hero,” the employee told Easterling, “and I didn’t do a thing.”