Orientation should be reimagined and reorganized to offer a “just-in-time” approach where appropriate.

After winning their election, Members have approximately two months before being sworn in. During this brief transition period, new Members have many new responsibilities, from hiring staff, to finding district offices, to having to learn important information about the legislative process, rules of the House, ethics training, and more.

The current front-loaded model of training often creates stress and confusion and can fail to set up a freshman Member for success. A more effective approach focuses on the critical information Members need to know to be successful in their first 90 days. Additional information and training should be offered when the Members “need to know” that information, rather than all at once. Information without context is easily forgotten, but if the information presented can be applied to Members’ immediate needs, they are much more likely to retain what they are learning.

“The private sector refers to this training and support as “just-in-time” training. It operates from the simple understanding that people learn better and perform better when they are not inundated with information and they get to apply what they learn soon after they learn it.”
Richard Shapiro, July 11, 2019

The Committee agreed that the House’s current approach to orientation should be reimagined and reorganized to offer a “just-in-time” training process that provides ongoing training and coaching to freshman Members throughout their first year in office. This change will provide far greater support to freshman Members and their staff, improve the performance of freshman offices and significantly reduce the amount of time that Members-elect need to spend attending out-of-town orientation programs.[145]

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