First-of-a-Kind Research to Examine Congress as a Workplace

Aug 1, 2011
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Congressional Management Foundation and Society for Human Resource Management
to Survey Members of Congress and Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. A new research project will be launched next week to better understand the working environment on Capitol Hill and to provide members of Congress and congressional office managers a better understanding of how to balance their professional and personal lives. The study will be conducted jointly by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The study will be based on two surveys: one of randomly selected members of Congress to examine how they juggle their work and home lives; another of congressional staff members to assess their opinions and satisfaction with their workplace. The surveys will be distributed to respondents early this month, and the research results will be released as two reports in 2012.

“Congress is a unique work environment with unique challenges,” said Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of CMF. “We hope to provide members and staff with tools and guidance to improve the work environment and help them manage the incredible demands on their time. We also hope to open a window to the public on these extraordinary public servants and the sacrifices they make in their personal lives.”

“SHRM supports efforts to assist employees in meeting the dual demands of work and personal needs,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM. “Through this research and other initiatives, SHRM is calling for new dialogue and debate on a workplace flexibility policy for the 21st century.”

Through surveys of a randomly selected group of House members and all congressional personnel office staff, CMF and SHRM will be able to provide recommendations through two published reports. The first report will describe what members value most about their work and will provide guidance to them on how to manage demands in their work and personal lives so they feel more effective and efficient. The second report will describe staffers’ work and what they value most. The report also will provide guidance to senior managers for attracting and retaining high-quality staffers by enhancing the aspects of congressional work that staffers most value.

The survey is the first to aid members of Congress and staff as they cope with the competing demands of their lives on and off the job. In 1993, CMF conducted the first workplace satisfaction study in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in partnership with the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress.

Media: For more information, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and kate.kennedy@shrm.org, or Sarah Cunningham of CMF at 202-546-0100 or scunningham@congressfoundation.org.

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About the Congressional Management Foundation

Founded in 1977, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry. CMF’s work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services. To learn more, visit http://congressfoundation.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter.

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