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Congress: For the Sake of Your Staff, Find a Way to Unplug

Recent research has shown clear signs of burnout among congressional staff, and with appropriations season and hundreds of fly-ins upon us, the workload shows no sign of lessening. So what can you do? In this month's Roll Call commentary, Brad Fitch discusses some creative ways for Members and staff to unplug – even if temporarily.

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The Four Muppets You Find on the Hill

Recently, CMF had the pleasure to host a Muppets-inspired program for House Chiefs of Staff. Presented by A.J. Robinson, this program discussed how managers can use the Muppets to identify four common staff roles on a team, and how to improve team performance by reducing the tension and conflict that can arise from these various roles. So, which Muppet sounds most like you and your staffers?

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Join Us Next Friday to Kick Off the 2014 Advocacy Leaders Series

CMF is very excited to kick off the 2014 Advocacy Leaders Network (ALN) with “Can You Hear Me Now? Why Talking to Regulatory Agencies Matters & How to Do It,” a session focusing on how best to engage with the executive branch. ALN is a workshop series tailored to senior advocacy, government affairs, and public relations professionals, and is offered as part of CMF’s Partnership for a More Perfect Union, which seeks to enhance communications, understanding, and the relationship between citizens and Congress.

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D.C. Vs. Hollywood — Our Washington Vs. Theirs

Capitol Hill (and CMF) staffers joined millions in binge-watching "House of Cards" and obsessing over its fictional accounts of D.C. In this month's Roll Call commentary, self-proclaimed superfan Brad Fitch explores how media and entertainment portrayals of Congress impact or even drive our deepening cynicism about American politics.

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Tips for Taming Your Personal Email Monster

Getting buried in email significantly reduces productivity, but this doesn't have to be the case. Recently, CMF President and CEO Brad Fitch discussed ways to better manage your inbox and boost productivity, including how to: minimize interruptions, separate internal and external stakeholders, and turn your inbox into a to-do list.

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Budget Cuts to Congress Are Real, Not 'Gimmicks'

In the past three years, Congress has cut its Members' budgets by 20 percent, but this is little known outside the Beltway, nor are Members of Congress talking much about these cuts (and their impacts) to constituents. In this month's Roll Call commentary, Brad Fitch poses the question: if the congressional budget tree falls in a forest, and nobody's there to hear it, does it make a difference?

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Announcing the 2014 Advocacy Leaders Schedule: How Hollywood Affects Your Advocacy and More

CMF is pleased to announce another exciting year of our Advocacy Leaders Network (ALN) workshop series, tailored to senior advocacy, government affairs, and public relations professionals. This series is part of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union, which seeks to enhance communications, understanding, and the relationship between citizens and Congress.

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How Congress Can Combat Staff Brain Drain

In the wake of budget cuts and healthcare changes, many Chiefs of Staff and District/State Directors are concerned about losing their staff. In this month's Roll Call commentary, CMF President and CEO Brad Fitch discusses three options that can help senior managers improve their staff retention.

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How to Manage Changes in Budgets and Benefits [VIDEO]

CMF surveyed senior congressional staff on the impact of recent operational issues such as: budget reductions, furloughs, government shutdown, and the changes in healthcare benefits. The results indicate that the cuts in congressional office budgets and transitioning staff to a new healthcare benefit structure could lead to a significant number of staff departures.

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Survey Shows Changes in Congressional Budgets and Benefits Could Lead to Staff Departures in Congress

A survey of senior managers in Congress indicates that cuts in congressional office budgets and transitioning staff to a new healthcare benefit structure could lead to a significant number of staff departures. Also, nearly four in ten senior staff said they plan to look for a job in the next 12 months, according to research conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

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ABOUT CMF

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.

Read more about CMF

PROJECTS

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Communicating with Congress The Internet forever changed how citizens and Congress interacts. The goal of this project is to facilitate a more meaningful democratic dialogue.

 

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Gold Mouse Project
Congress should effectively communicate with and serve citizens online. CMF assesses congressional websites to identify best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by the House and Senate.

 

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Inside the Hill
Produced by Founding Partner Fleishman-Hillard, this video series allows you to hear directly from Members and staff on how technology is changing the way Congress works.

 

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Life in Congress
This novel research project by CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management has two goals: identify the factors that motivate congressional staff and shed some light on Congress as a workplace.

 

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21st Century Town Hall Meetings CMF seeks to continue our innovative work in this area by conducting comparative research on in-person town halls, online town halls, and telephone town halls.