Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards

In April, CMF announced the winners of the 113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards! Learn more about our process and criteria, as well as about our first-ever awards for social media.

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Communicating with Congress

The Internet forever changed how citizens and Members of Congress interact. The goal of this project is to reduce barriers, facilitate increased citizen participation in the public policy process, and promote a meaningful democratic dialogue that benefits our country.

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Work-Life in Congress

As part of the "Life in Congress" research project, CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management are presenting a series of programs focused on improving the work-life of congressional staff.

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Managing Changes in Budgets & Benefits

CMF's survey of senior congressional staff indicates that reduced office budgets and changes to staff healthcare could lead to a significant number of staff departures.

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Recent Updates

How To Deliver Performance Reviews

How to Implement a Performance Management System (4 Minutes)

Steps to Enhancing Performance of Employees in Congressional Offices (3 Minutes)


Download the Performance Management toolkit:  doc Performance-Management-Tools-Handout-2013.doc

To prepare the staff person in advance

  1. What will you tell the staffer regarding the purpose of this perform­ance review, why the review is important, what outcomes you would like to achieve, and why you need his or her active participation in the review process?
  2. If the person will be gathering feedback from constituents and/or coworkers, what agreements do you need to reach about the process to follow and the people to be contacted?
  3. Decide on the questions you would like the staffer to answer as part of his or her self-evaluation. For example:
    1. In your view, how do your responsibilities support the office’s strategic plan?
    2. What do you consider your most important contributions and accomplishments during the review period?
    3. What competencies (skills, knowledge, or perspective) have been most important in achieving those accomplishments?
    4. What feedback have you received from co-workers and/or constituents?
    5. What do you need to do to enhance your performance further?
    6. How satisfied are you with your accomplishments during the review period?
    7. What have you learned that can be applied in the future?
    8. How have I helped your performance during the review period?
    9. What else could I have done?
    10. Other:________________________________________________________

To prepare yourself

Gather Information:

  1. List quantifiable data concerning results achieved toward pre-established goals, priorities, or standards (e.g., volume of work completed, quality of work, innovative ideas, deadlines met).
  2. Note specific examples of situations in which the individual was particularly effective or ineffective in accomplishing organizational or group goals.
  3. Quote feedback from co-workers.
  4. Give specific examples of competencies (skills, knowledge, or perspectives) the person has used to accomplish results.

To prepare your core message

  1. What major responsibilities of this person do you want to focus on in the review?
  2. What two or three areas of strength will be most important in shaping the person’s future work?
  3. What two or three opportunities for improvement or learning do you think this person should concentrate on next?
  4. Based on your answers to Questions 1 through 3, what are the two or three thoughts you want the staffer to remember throughout the next review period?
  5. How will you link your comments about the staffer’s responsibilities and performance to the core points of your message?

To prepare for sharing your perspective

What areas of disagreement do you anticipate? How will the person respond to this disagreement? What specific examples can you offer to support your point of view? How might you begin to resolve this disagreement?

Additional Information

Sample Performance Review Forms


CMF works internally with House and Senate offices to foster improved management practices. From interns to Chiefs of Staff to Members themselves, CMF provides services adapted to the unique congressional environment. Read more

Commonly Used Resources


Inside of Capitol Dome

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.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

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