Employers today are increasingly looking to enhance their benefit programs to become an “Employer of Choice.” Achieving and maintaining this status can prove to be difficult as the cost of benefits rise.
What can employers do additionally that will best serve the majority of their diverse workforce? What benefit programs will have the most impact on productivity, morale, recruitment and retention, and be cost-effective to offer? Concierge services may be the answer.
Why Offer a Concierge Program?
Concierge programs are becoming increasingly popular for companies of all sizes. The reason—the variety of services provided within a concierge program appeal to all socioeconomic groups, genders, and ages of employees. Whether targeting the needs of an aging workforce, or Generation X or Y, these programs help employees better balance their work and personal lives by providing personal assistance and fulfilling any requests.
Over the years, more and more research has been done assessing the value and return on investment of concierge programs. Based on the latest research by The Premier Concierge the impact of these programs is tremendous. The following concierge statistics will give you an idea of how these programs can positively impact your workforce.
• 85% of survey respondents stated that the concierge service has enabled them to be more productive at work.
• Over 90% of employees who used the service would recommend it to a colleague and would be very likely to use the service again.
• For companies with less than 3,000 employees, we saved an average of 300 hours per month which equates to tens of thousands of dollars in productivity savings.
What Does a Concierge Program Offer?
A concierge service consists of a variety of programs. Common services offered include: securing tickets to plays, concerts and sporting events; making travel arrangements; arranging for transportation and restaurant reservations; providing resources for home and car maintenance (plumbers, landscapers, house cleaners, mechanics); providing pet care and relocation assistance; and offering gifts, flowers and hard to find items. In addition, running employees’ personal errands is a great time saver. These tasks can include picking up prescriptions; getting new tires put on a car; overseeing a plumber at the employees’ residence; food and gift shopping; shipping packages; and much more! Discounted programs, such as theme park tickets; car rentals; ski resorts; spas, fitness centers, and retailers can also be provided.
An effective concierge program can be offered in a variety of ways. These include online (through a co-branded Web site), 24/7 telephonic access (via an 800 number), or on-site (by providing full-time or part-time concierges and errand runners).
Concierge services tend to have higher utilization than most benefit programs. Average annual utilization for employers with 1,000 or more employees is 30–50% for the first year, and higher (over 100%) in subsequent years, as awareness spreads. Smaller organizations can achieve even higher usage (300-400% annually). Communicating these programs is key to achieving a high level of usage. Effective communications include varied methods, such as brochures, wallet cards, posters, flyers, newsletters, e-mail blasts, management and employee orientations, and on-site visibility events (Health Fairs, Open Enrollments, and New Hire Orientations).
Examples of companies who have successfully implemented concierge programs are varied. High tech, bio tech, law firms, health care organizations, financial and professional services are among the many industries whose employees benefit from these programs. And size doesn’t matter—companies as small as 20 employees to those with over 100,000 employees can utilize these services.
How Cost-Effective Are Concierge Services?
Employers can easily offer a cost-effective concierge program. Many companies start by providing a telephonic and/or web-based service and gradually add on-site concierges and/or errand runners (for selected locations) as their needs and budgets change. Offering on-site staff definitely results in a more personalized program with higher utilization and a more compelling return on investment.
Typically, concierge programs are employer sponsored and are priced based on the total number of employees, services offered and anticipated utilization. There is also a start-up fee for a customized web site and all of the initial communications materials.
Examples of unique concierge requests and client testimonials from The Premier Concierge users include:
• Fulfilling a Manager’s request to deliver $100 worth of bagels, donuts, and pastries to the office by 8 a.m. (the call came in at 7:15 a.m. that same morning).
• Securing hard-to-get concert for the birthday of an employee’s wife