At WellStar, concierge staff runs errands while you work

Marietta, Ga. -- Jenn Tadlock isn't a nurse or a doctor, but she saves lives in a different way at WellStar Health System.

She's part of a concierge team calledBest Upon Request that runs errands for employees and patients.

"They can focus on exactly what they need to do in their professional lives, while we focus on their personal lives," Tadlock said.

WellStar began offering the concierge service three years ago. Best Upon Request has a staff of five working under contract for WellStar. Their motto is "we ease the day, you seize the day."

"They'll go buy a gift, they'll bring it back, they'll show it to me, they'll wrap it," said Margie Adair, who works in human resources."They go to the post office, they do dry cleaning, they do absolutely everything to make my life easier."

11Alive's Jennifer Leslie spent a morning with Tadlock and listened as she made plans to get a rare book signed for one employee. Another asked her to pick up a pet's prescription. She also mailed letters, sold stamps and took an envelope of cash to drop off at a babysitter's house.

Managers credit the concierge service with helping WellStar land on the most recent Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.

It's WellStar's first time on the list, coming in at number 39 for 2014. That's higher than any other Georgia company.

But with 13,000 employees, it's not cheap.

The company pays for the service. Employees are only responsible for mileage and the cost of their own dry cleaning, prescription or lunch order.

"We look at the cost of replacing staff. We look at the cost of hiring top talent. We look at the cost of having to hire premium staff when our own staff cannot make it to work," said Karen Mathews, Director of Work Life Services for WellStar. "When you balance all of those things out, the cost of the program more than pays for itself."

Mathews said it took awhile for employees to realize there is no catch.

"It's made a huge difference because it helps us keep high loyalty with our team members," Mathews added. "It relieves them of the stress of having to figure out how to handle last-minute issues that come up in our lives."

Last year, the concierge team provided 8,300 services and saved WellStar employees more than 12,000 hours of time.

The service is also available to patients and family members at no additional cost.


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