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Donna Klein and Marriott International (a)

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In the early 1990s, Donna Klein, Director of Work/Life programs for Marriott International, surveyed hotel and resort managers and found they increasingly were relied upon to help employees cope with the stresses of their personal lives. Immigration, child custody, spousal abuse--numerous personal issues were requiring up to 50% of managers' time and fueling extremely high turnover among the company's over 100,000 lower-wage workers. Although Marriott offered a traditional dependent care resource and referral service, Klein realized that this service was not particularly useful or appropriate for hourly workers. She understood that hourly employees needed help finding cost-effective ways to solve their personal problems and more one-on-one consultation to help them tap into their local resources. Shocked by the survey results, senior management asked Klein and her associates to devise a solution to address the problem.


some property managers reported spending upwards of 50 percent of their time on their efforts to serve as "makeshift social workers"

very costly and inefficient solution — for the managers and the lower-wage Associates. the problems caused by these workers’ personal issues, such as turnover, absenteeism, worker disputes and tardiness, threatened the high level of standers of the brand. devise a solution that would assist hourly workers. What’s more, she needed to "sell" the solution to the property managers who ultimately would have to pay for any new employ benefit programs.

how could one company tackle the enormous problems of lower—income workers? What could Marriott do to serve the highly individualized needs of thousands of employees who worked at thousands of widespread properties? And in the end, how would she convince senior management, and eventually property managers, that this was a problem worth investing in?


*hotline to a free social worker in employs language. Distribute flyers regarding program. Address managers to communicate the benefit of this program to all of their direct subornments,

design programs that responded to hourly Associates’ complex and acute life situations.

the Associate Resource Line (ARL), a toll-free telephone resource available to all Marriott employees and their immediate families 24 hours a day,



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