June 20, 2019

Examining Inclusion, Diversity and Retention

Contact: Danielle Stewart


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Select Committee”) today held a hearing to discuss best practices and ways to foster diversity among congressional staff, and how to recruit the best and brightest minds from across the country. The committee members and expert witnesses also discussed current trends in public and private sector employee benefits, and how to increase retention among staff in the legislative branch.


Alexander Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Laura Liswood, Author of The Loudest Duck; Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work, and Kwasi Mitchell, Principal and Chief Inclusion Officer at Deloitte Consulting testified at the hearing. The experts highlighted the importance of building and maintaining a diverse workforce, and the current trends seen from organizations who are looking to refine and update the benefit programs they offer to employees.


“Congress should be leading by example when it comes to diversity, inclusion and staff support, and there is a lot of catching up to do. The witnesses today highlighted important key trends and best practices that we can all learn from, and we plan to keep these conversations going throughout the year to better serve the American people at every level,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair Tom Graves (R-GA).


The witnesses highlighted a few best practices that successful companies currently use when recruiting and hiring new staff. They included utilizing data and metrics to identify possible gender or racial pay gaps, creating a structured interview process to eliminate bias, and to identify places where talent might be overlooked, such as community colleges, historically black colleges, or veterans groups.


In a 2017 SHRM survey on job satisfaction and engagement, 92 percent of employees indicated that benefits are important to their overall job satisfaction. Their results also showed a relationship between benefits and retention, with 29 percent of employees citing their current benefits package as a top reason to look for new employment in the next 12 months. Since unemployment is at a near-historic low nationwide, organizations are looking to revamp the way they recruit and retain talent, and that means a change in approach to benefits packages and a more sustainable work/life balance.


To learn more about the Select Committee, please click here.


To view today’s livestream, please click here.

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