Dry cleaning and car washes? All perks of the credit union concierge

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Though usually associated with a hotel, concierge services are commonly offered in the corporate arena, and a growing number of credit unions are realizing they can boost employee morale by offering these perks to staff.

Roughly 30% of the institutions on this year's Best Credit Unions to Work For list said they provide some sort of concierge program for employees, but not all of these services are created equal.

Burbank, Calif.-based Partners Federal Credit Union, has what it calls a “Cast Concierge” offering. The name reflects the credit union’s position as the official CU of Disney, where all employees are known as “cast members,” a title the $1.8 billion-asset institution’s employees also share. According to Keith Smith, PFCU’s chief talent officer, the initiative is part of the credit union’s “organizational evolution,” and assists the talent strategies team.

Like all credit unions, management at Partners FCU have their work cut out for them when it comes to determining how to boost productivity and engagement for the institution’s 430 employees.

“We offer other on-site services to our cast like dry cleaning, food trucks and car washes, and these services are coordinated through our Cast Events and Recognition teams,” he said.

If certain services are not offered on-site, Smith said Partners FCU assists employees in finding reputable companies that can provide assistance, including everything from legal services to pet and child care, health and wellness, elder care and more.

“Resources are also available for managers to help provide guidance to their employees. Many of these services are free to our employees and their dependents,” said Smith.

The process of selecting the right concierge service takes time and effort. Some institutions rely on simple trial and error, while others test the waters with staff surveys.

And the sorts of perks those shops may provide are as varied as the industry itself.

“One credit union client provides a fitness center onsite with locker rooms,” said Onker Basu, senior director at Cornerstone Advisors. “They also provide beer taps with two free swipes per day after 4 p.m. The credit union polled the employees to gauge their interest before going down these paths.”

In another example, Cornerstone Advisors Consultant Michael Rempel explained that one of the firm’s clients, Idaho Central Credit Union, offers its senior management team access to credit union-branded “Green Machines” vehicles.

“You see them all over the place in Pocatello [where the credit union is based]. Sweet rides for their employees and great brand awareness for the credit union,” said Rempel. “I’ve seen other credit unions take older or unpopular models and turn them into billboards as well.”

Andrea DiGiacomo, chief operating officer at the Baltimore-based consulting firm Think Stack, said that the right combination of concierge service offerings can result in better employee retention rates.

“The most common types of concierge services which we have seen in credit unions recently are technology centers and coffee shops. These are places where the community can gather. The goal of these locations are to be community focused and to allow the members to relax, get coffee, and build a sense of relationship with each other and the credit union employees,” said DiGiacomo. “The value-add for credit union offering these services is that they build the personal relationship and trust with their members. They are also able to make the members visit more efficient and memorable.”

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Perks Work-life balance Employee benefits Employee engagement Employee relations Employee retention California Best Credit Unions to Work For