January 2007



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- Movin' Up


2007 Corporate Partners

American Family Insurance
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.
Right Management

Fidelitec, LLC
Klaas Financial

Higgins Hemb Insurance Group
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Stark Company Realtors
UW-Madison Executive Education
Winterthur North America / General Casualty

Thank you!


ark Your Calendar

Click here to view the calendar of events and meeting notices.

2006 Compensation & Benefits Surveys are Now Available!
For more information including the order forms, click here to visit the Survey Information Page from the GMA SHRM website.



January 10 - Wednesday in the Park

HR Technology: Looking to Make Your Life Easier?
Program Details and Registration

January 16 - Chapter Meeting

Creating New Impact - Beyond Pay and Benefits
Program Details and Registration

January 16 - Certification Orientation

Thinking About Becoming a Certified HR Professional?
Program Details and Registration



News/Updates - for more information, click topic in left hand column

- SHRM National news  
- State Council news  
- Student Chapter news  
- PEG announcements


- Committee announcements  
- View 2006/2007 GMA SHRM Board of Directors  
- Open board positions  
- New members  
- Job line See the latest job postings!
- Question of the month Volunteers needed
- Office News  
- Partner Program Learn more about our Corporate Partner Program and other Sponsorship Opportunities
- Certifications  


Printable version

By Sue Estes GMA SHRM President

Happy New Year! This year we will celebrate more than just the usual New Year. This year we celebrate the Big 5-0! GMA SHRM’s 50 th Anniversary celebration begins!

The Greater Madison Area Chapter of SHRM will be celebrating this milestone in many ways and we’re launching a special logo to commemorate this special event! You’ll see the logo above on all our communications to you throughout the year as we mark our “50 Years of Excellence”.

How will we celebrate our 50 years as a chapter?

  • There will be some great opportunities to hear from our Past Presidents and tenured members in our newsletter, HR InTouch, and at future Chapter Meetings.
  • We’re planning a high energy, high quality One-Day Conference on May 23, 2007, with a special exhibit of HR memorabilia as well as a social event following the learning sessions.
  • For those who love the game of golf (or for those who just want to have fun) a GMA SHRM Golf Scramble is being organized for June.
  • As always, we will continue to offer many educational and networking opportunities through our programming.
  • And more to come!

As I think about our celebrations, I realize that anniversaries are a good time to reminisce and to look to the future. As we look back over the last 50 years of our profession we might find ourselves either with a dropped jaw and laughing out loud at some of the practices of the past. It will probably be difficult for many of us to remember back to a time when recruitment ads under the heading of “Secretary” looked for a “single girl in her 20’s”. Searching Time Magazine’s archives from April 1957, I found an interesting article about the secretary shortage titled “They’re Either Too Pretty or Too Old” that will give you more insight into employment in the 1950’s. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809381,00.html?promoid=googlep

Whether it’s the diversifying demographics of the workforce or the raging inflation of health care benefits, the deployment of HR technology or the impact of a global economy, the switch to 401K plans or the decline of unions, Human Resources professionals have been expected to manage change over the past 50 years. As Patrick Mirza reported last year in HR Magazine, “The HR profession has made great strides from the days of paper-pushing personnel peons to today’s smart and sophisticated business strategists, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. And it’s not still complete.”

I urge you all to think about the changes you have seen in our profession and to reflect on what your membership in GMA SHRM has meant to you over the years. Listen to those who have come before you and learn from their experiences. Consider how your chosen profession has impacted the business world. Consider how your membership in our local Chapter of SHRM can impact your career and your life.

You will have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to our celebration by sharing your memories of the Chapter and the HR profession. Here is mine:

Most of my fondest memories during the past 7 years of my membership revolve around the people I have met through the Chapter. When I think of my GMA SHRM membership, the first thing that comes to mind are the friends I've made throughout the years and the way the friendships began because of our common goal of working with the GMA SHRM chapter and in our chosen profession. There have been many laughs shared along the way and lots of learning from each other too. GMA SHRM truly is a place to network, learn from each other, and gain and give support to our fellow HR professionals. Let’s celebrate our Chapter’s 50 Years of Excellence in 2007!

Do you have memories and stories to tell regarding your experience in Human Resources or GMA SHRM? We’d love to hear them! Please submit them to our newsletter editor, Dave Furlan, at dfurlan@virchowkrause.com . Planning for our 50th anniversary events is underway now, so if you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, please contact meat sue@celeritystaffing.com or reach out to another GMA SHRM Board Member.

To Deduct or Not To Deduct – That Is The Question
By David R. Friedman, Friedman Law Firm

Often a question arises as what can be deducted from an employee’s wages. The question is simple – the answer complex. There are many different types of pay deductions. These deductions range from those for personal/ medical appointments, a voluntary wage assignment or an employer imposed disciplinary action. Outside the scope of this article are deductions because of a divorce action or wage garnishment.

Before looking at what type of deductions can be made, you need to determine whether the employee is exempt from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime requirements. This is because there are different rules for deductions for “hourly” and “salary” employees. (A reminder – just because a person is paid a salary does not mean the person is exempt from overtime pay).

If a private sector employee is exempt from the FLSA’s requirement to pay overtime, then as a general rule, deductions can be made only if certain circumstances exist. Deductions for this group of employees may be made (1) for absences from work for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability; (2) for absences for one or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness; (3) to offset amounts the employee receives as jury, witness fees, or for military pay; (4) or for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions.

These FLSA rules do not apply to employees who are eligible for overtime pay. The rest of this update will focus on hourly paid employees. For hourly paid employees, the FLSA general rule is that unless the employee actually works the time in question, the employee does not get paid.

Pay deductions for doctor appointments or short time off for other matters normally does not have to be paid. However in certain circumstance medical appointments that qualify for FMLA leave might have to be compensated. Your company may also have a policy or collective bargaining agreement that provides pay for certain types of appointments.

Can a deduction be made when the employee goofs up on the job? The short answer is “yes, if properly done.” Wisconsin Statute Section 103.455 regulates deductions that can be taken for faulty workmanship, loss, theft or damage.

The purpose of the statute is to preclude any deduction for losses until the employee has an opportunity to show his lack of fault. An employer is not prohibited under the statute from deducting from an employee's wages those losses which are due to the employee’s negligence, carelessness, or willful and intentional misconduct. Deductions are allowed for defective or faulty workmanship, lost or stolen property or damage to property where the employee has in writing authorized the employer to make the deductions, or the employer and a designated representative of the employee have entered into a written agreement, or a court has found the employee guilty or liable for the loss. The consent of the employee may only serve as a basis for a deduction where it is given in writing after the loss has occurred and before the deduction is made.

Can the employer recoup money when it accidentally overpays an employee? The employer can ask the employee to voluntarily repay the money, or if the employee refuses to repay, it can sue in court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has stated that §103.455 does not apply in this type of situation. However, the statute on assignment of wages does apply. Among other things, that statute requires that the assignment has to be in writing, cannot last longer than six months and has to be signed by the spouse if the person is married.

A disciplinary suspension for an hourly worker does not create FLSA problems. However, a company policy or a collective bargaining agreement may specify procedures on how to handle such matters.

So, with a little bit of thought and caution, pay deductions can legally be made from an employee’s paycheck, and the answer to the question “to deduct or not to deduct?” may become less complex than you originally think.

The opinions expressed or implied are those of the author and may not represent the official position of GMASHRM. This article is intended for general information purposes and highlights developments in the legal area. This article does not constitute legal advice. The reader should consult legal counsel to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.


Congress Makes HSAs More Attractive
By Adam Jensen, JD, GBA, FLMI, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits

The recently passed Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act), has made Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) more attractive to consumers. These changes become effective for taxable years ending after December 31, 2006. A number of restrictions were eased, including: allowing one-time rollovers to HSAs from other funding sources, repealing the annual deductible limitation on HSA contributions, allowing expanded contributions for partial year coverage, and modifications of employer comparable contribution requirements. The Act also modifies the timing of the announcement of cost-of-living adjustments to maximum deposits for the succeeding year.

Rollovers from Health FSAs, HRAs, and IRAs into HSAs

The Act allows for one-time rollovers from Health FSAs and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) prior to January 1, 2012. These transfers are subject to some limitations, including that transfers may not exceed the balance of the Health FSA or HRA on the date of the transfer. The Act also allows for one-time transfers from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to HSAs. IRA transfers to HSAs must be direct trustee-to-trustee transfers. They are limited to the maximum annual contribution amount based on the type of coverage the participant is enrolled in (single or family) under the high deductible health plan in effect at the time of the qualified HSA funding distribution. There are potential state law tax implications for rollovers in some jurisdictions.

Certain FSA Coverage Treated as Disregarded Coverage

Prior to the passage of the Act, if an employer’s Health FSA utilized a grace period, no participant was eligible to contribute to an HSA during the grace period, even if the participant had no funds left in their Health FSA. Under the new Act, if a participant’s Health FSA balance is zero at the end of the plan year, or if the entire remaining balance is transferred to an HSA, then the FSA grace period will not adversely affect the participant’s eligibility or ability to contribute to an HSA.

Repeal of Annual Plan Deductible Limitation on HSA Contributions

One of the most beneficial changes in the Act is the repeal of the limit on contributions tied to the underlying High Deductible Health Plan’s (HDHP) deductible amount. Under the old rules, maximum contributions were limited to the lesser of either the HDHP’s deductible amount or the annual indexed maximum contribution. As of 1/1/2007, HSA participants will be able to contribute up to the full annual indexed amount. Those with individual coverage will be able to contribute up to $2,850, and those with family coverage up to $5,650 for 2007.

Modification of Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Under the old rules, cost of living adjustments for HSA contributions and calendar year HDHP requirements were based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) changes as of the close of the 12-month period ending on August 31st of each year. The new Act moves the 12-month CPI period up to March 31st of each year and requires that the IRS publish changes for the coming calendar year not later than June 1st of the preceding year.

Expanded Contribution Limitation for Partial Year Coverage

The new Act also allows participants to contribute the full annual maximum indexed amount, even if they have not been covered by an HDHP for the entire year. This is a major change from the old rules and is a great benefit to consumers. The old rules strictly limited monthly contributions to 1/12 of the annual limit, with no allowance for those whose plans may have been implemented midyear. The new rules allow participants to contribute up to the full annual maximum, even if they do not have the opportunity to participate in an HDHP for the entire calendar year. Failure to maintain the required HDHP coverage for the full year can pose adverse tax implications.

Employer Comparable Contribution Requirements Modified

Another change allows employers who elect to make contributions to employee HSAs to make a greater contribution to non-highly compensated employees accounts than to highly compensated employees. However, comparability must be maintained for the entire non-highly compensated employee group.

This is a brief summary of how HSAs will change under the new legislation. Please contact your advisor or administrator for more information or to explore how this new legislation affects your individual situation.

Adam P. Jensen is a Senior Consultant with Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC and has worked in the insurance and employee benefits industry since 1986. Adam specializes in providing regulatory compliance and plan design services for health and welfare plans and qualified retirement plans. He also advises executive clients on non-qualified deferred compensation issues.

From the National SHRM Bulletin Board…

Topic: Buddy Program
Posted : 12/22/2006 9:43:00 AM
Post : I am working on reviving our buddy program and need some idea of things that can be done to make the new employee feel like a part of the team. We thought of having a container of candy or something of the sort. Would like some more ideas.

Number of Replies: 4 by 12/22/2006 11:12:26 AM

Posted Reply 1: For my first week in my current job, my boss gave me an "account" in our cafe and a list of people that I should meet. The idea was to meet with each over coffee or lunch and pick up the tab. (My boss had "pre-scheduled the meetings). It was a great way to meet new associates.

Posted Reply 2: Candy is nice, but you might also be able to find some 'artifacts' that help convey who/what your company is about. Every company is different in this regard, but if you look around you will probably get some ideas.

Have the manager set up meetings with key people they will work with, and the buddy can help show them around to the different offices.

Make sure the buddy is a strong performer.

Website of the Month: Employee Tenure

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is conducted monthly by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among the many items measured in the survey is employee tenure. The CPS site has survey results on employee tenure as of January 2006 and provides summary reports in several categories such as age, sex, race, industry, and occupation. Low on the tenure list is food preparation and serving related occupations. High on the list is architecture and engineering occupations.

To check out other categories and review the survey further, click here.


Thinking About Becoming a Certified HR Professional?

It’s never too soon to begin planning for your certification! And we have a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the process. Join us at the next certification orientation meeting on January 16 th, 2007, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Any GMA SHRM member can attend – whether you are planning to complete the certification exam in May or June or are only interested in learning more about professional certification. We’ll meet at the QTI Group, 702 East Washington Avenue, Madison (corner of East Washington and Blount Street with the entrance on Blount Street). Sign up now for the orientation by contacting John Komosa at 608-204-6276 or johnk@qstaff.com.

At the orientation, you will learn more about the certification process, including which level of certification (PHR or SPHR) may be appropriate for you, application information, and preparation strategies. You’ll have the chance to network with fellow GMA SHRM members who plan to take the Spring exam. You’ll learn about the 12-week SHRM Learning System Course that will be held at Grainger Hall beginning January 31, 2007. For more information or to sign up for the course, see http://www.uwsbdc.org/shrm.htm.



Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management
Professional Scholarship Program

The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) has established a professional scholarship program encouraging continuing education in the human resources field.


One $1,000 non-renewable scholarship will be awarded to a GMA SHRM member to support their professional development.

Examples of covered eligible programs include:

  • Attendance at a National/State SHRM conference
  • Post-secondary degree in business or human resources related discipline
  • Support of certification or re-certification (PHR, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CEBS, etc.)
  • Certificate programs in business or human resources related discipline


Eligible applicants for the GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship Program must meet the following criteria:

  • GMA SHRM Member
  • Currently working in an HR related field
  • Current GMA SHRM Board Members or current Professional Scholarship Committee Members are not eligible

Professionals who receive 80-100% tuition reimbursement from their employer are not eligible for tuition reimbursement under this award.

Scholarship Provisions

Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Professional Scholarship Committee based on demonstration of leadership qualities and interest in the human resources field, GMA SHRM participation, and a dedication to the advancement of the HR field.

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must provide the following information:

  • Brief one page purpose statement explaining how continuing education or professional certification will enhance your HR career
  • Current resume
  • Completed scholarship application

The scholarship program opens January 1 st, 2007 and all applications must be postmarked by March 2 nd, 2007, to be considered. Application materials should be sent to:

Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
ATTN: Professional Scholarship Committee
2830 Agriculture Dr .
Madison , WI 53718

All applicants will be notified of the results by March 30 th, 2007. Scholarship payments will be made on a reimbursement basis, pending a one-time submission of receipts for course work or program activity. Recipients must use monetary contributions within one year of receipt.

Additional Information

Questions regarding the scholarship program should be directed to John Komosa at johnk@qstaff.com.


Beyond Fight Or Flight—Dealing With Performance Problems Effectively
By Joe Feest, MRA

“How should I deal with performance problems?” is one of the most common questions seminar presenters at MRA get asked. In cavalier moments, some managers may think to themselves, “If they don’t do what I want I’ll take them on,” but all leaders soon realize—or learn the hard way—that though they must deal with performance problems, the ‘fight’ or ‘bully’ method of leadership has a lot of downsides (as does the ‘ignore it and maybe it’ll go away’ or ‘flight’ method). There are better options, but those options are not always utilized. According to MRA’s research, on average, 40% of employees feel their supervisor deals ineffectively with poor performance and 42% of employees feel that people in their organization can get away with poor performance.

When employees choose not to meet expectations, it frustrates many managers. “How do I address that kind of intentional non performance?” “How do I know when employees ‘cross the line’ and it is time to discipline or terminate?”

Before a manager intervenes regarding an employee’s choice to not meet expectations, it is best for him/her to consider two things: (1) Is it really a choice on the employee’s part? If the employee cannot do the job, he/she needs training. (2) The manager should consider if he/she plays a role in this employee’s non-performance. No manager is perfect, but if he/she can honestly say they have made a real effort to set up the employee for success and not for failure, then it is time to deal with the performance issue. Let’s look at each level of intervention on the correction side of the continuum.


There are legitimate reasons employees do not meet expectations even when they have the ability to do so (a car accident, a family illness, etc.). When an employee is not meeting expectations the manager needs to confront it. He/she can start by simply and respectfully stating the expectation and then asking why it was not met. For example the manager may say, “Tim, the day starts at 8:00 a.m. You are 15 minutes late. Can you tell me why?”

“I’m sorry I’m late—I’m not feeling well this morning. I really want to get this project done but I’m just a little slow moving today.”

“Oh, sorry to hear you’re not up to par. I hope you feel better. If you need to go home, do so—I mean it—yet, thanks for coming in to get this project done.”

But, what if Tim comes in late on regular basis? Then it is time for correction—still ask before correcting because the manager does not know the facts yet. The manager starts out, “Tim, the day starts at 8:00 a.m. You are 15 minutes late. Can you tell me why?”


“Tim, traffic has been your rationale for being late 3 times this month. The effect tardiness has on our department is that our work is not getting done in a timely manner plus being on time is really a basic expectation here at our organization. I’m concerned about this behavior and I would like you to be on time. Will you do that—be here by or before 8:00 a.m. from now on?”

Four notes about the respectful confrontation: (1) It described behavior and did not interpret it, for example “You must not care if you’re not coming in on time!” (2) The message connected the behavior to a business result—work getting done. (3) The manager went beyond facts to feelings, ‘I’m concerned.’ (4) The exchange described what the manager wanted the employee to do—rather than describing what not to do, ‘be on time,’ rather than ‘don’t be late.’

So, when should a manager move to counseling and how should he/she go about it? If an employee has a bit of an ‘off’ day 1-2 times a year, most managers can live with it. If the effects are limited and the behavior does not affect the performance of others, simply confront it then move on. But, if the issue of non-performance has been addressed 1-2 times or involves a more critical issue or is affecting the work of others…it is time to counsel.


The manager should ask why the non-performance is occurring. If there is not a legitimate rationale then it is time to counsel. The following outline is a logical, respectful and principled approach to counseling:

  • Describe the performance problem in specific terms. Have data and focus on the problem—not the person (similar to the approach described in the initial confrontation).
  • Identify the cause of the problem. Immediately draw out the employee and get them involved in getting to the root—only they know it. Be empathic yet firm about performance expectations. At this point in the conversation, if appropriate, mention the options of an Employee Assistance Program, HR assistance, or FMLA provisions.
  • Identify possible solutions and reach agreement on specifics. Involvement equals commitment—if the employee creates solutions then both the manager and the employee are well on their way to solving the problem. Be prepared with suggestions but let the employee drive this process.
  • Develop a tracking plan and measures. Ideally the manager wants the employee to track his/her own performance if possible. Also, make sure all plans are concrete and then follow-up and monitor progress.
  • Close the meeting. Include an expression of appreciation for the employee’s help in coming up with solutions. Further, include an expression of confidence in the employee’s ability to resolve the problem. It is easy to express confidence at this point because though the employee is not performing—he/she has the ability to do so. If this is not the case, the manager has made a mistake. The manager should not be counseling but rather should be providing training.


A manager may ask, “How do I know when the employee has ‘crossed the line,’ and it is time to discipline or terminate?” First, talk to the HR department. Generally, if it is a very serious violation of work rules or gross insubordination, for example, then the manager may need to go straight to progressive discipline or termination and skip the previous steps. In cases where the problem has been ongoing, if two or three counseling sessions did not solve the performance problem, then it is time for progressive discipline.

The goal of progressive discipline is respectful correction not punishment. The goal is to encourage the employee to meet expectations. Typically the four stages are…

  • Oral Warning
  • Written Warning
  • Probation, suspension or something similar
  • Termination (at this point the organization gives up on the employee due to the fact the employee has chosen the path of irresponsibility)

Dealing with employee non-performance can be frustrating. If managers check themselves to make sure they are doing all the proactive things they can do, the approach described above can be used with confidence. These strategies are designed to encourage a productive response from the employee and hopefully managers can move beyond a “Fight or Flight” mentality.

Joe Feest has served as Training Manager with MRA since 2001 . Joe’s well-rounded professional experience includes operations management, organizational planning, inventory control, training, human resources, fundraising, customer service, performance management, bookkeeping, scheduling, and purchasing. MRA provides over 2300 member organizations the talent, tools and training to effectively harness the power of their workforce: www.mranet.org; 800.488.4845.


Welcome 2007 Corporate Partners!  

Please join your GMA SHRM chapter in welcoming our new and renewing Corporate Partners for 2007. The support of these partners allows the chapter to arrange quality speakers at monthly meetings, provide career-building resources for HR professionals, and organize other HR-related activities.

There are several ways for members to get to know our Corporate Partners. The chapter lists the names of Corporate Partners in each monthly newsletter (see above next to President’s Message) and on the GMA SHRM website. In addition, partners are introduced at monthly meetings, and every partner has a special ribbon attached to his or her nametag at the meetings. The chapter also displays a banner with all of the Corporate Partner names at the monthly meetings. Members can also look for some partners to display materials at meetings or give a short introduction of their services.

So, whether in your daily interactions or as part of attending a program meeting, please take a moment this year to introduce yourself to our partners and thank them for their support. They are a vital part of the ongoing success of our chapter.


Marketing Your HR Internship

Do you have an HR Internship you want to market directly to SHRM student members? If so, please e-mail your internships positions to Stacy Grunnet at stacy.grunnet@uwmf.wisc.edu. Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management sponsors three student SHRM chapters: UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville. Your internship information will be sent directly to the student presidents of these chapters for announcement at their chapter meetings, and to be posted on the student chapter’s internship board. Please include the following information with your posting:

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Job Location
  • Contact Name
  • Contact E-mail
  • Contact Phone
  • Position Description
  • Paid/Unpaid

Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in November.

Darcy D. Anderson

HR Manager

Rate Watch

Thomas R. Crone


Melli, Walker, Pease, Ruhly, SC

Thomas P. Godar


Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

Heather Gorder

HR Assistant

TDS Corporate

Keri B. Hillery

Sr. Employee Relations Specialist

Wisconsin Physicians Service

Cindy L. Ironside

Assistant Controller

T. Wall Properties Management Corp.

Steve King

Senior Educator

Meriter Health Services

Loren w. Kuzuhara

Teaching Professor

UW-Madison School of Business

Charity A. McCarthy


Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly

Sarah A. Olson

HR Assistant

Elder Care of Wisconsin

Jennifer C. Peters

HR Coordinator

Cascade Asset Manager

Susan Pschorr



Brian S. Repsold

Strategy & Human Capital Director

RSM McGladrey

Valerie L. Steiner

Personnel Manager

New Glarus Home, Inc

Rebecca L. Tome

Employee Relations Manager

Virchow Krause

Brittney R. Uecker

Recruiting Associate

UW Medical Foundation

Doug E. Witte


Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.



VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: 2007 HRGames / Student State Conference

The University of Wisconsin – Madison Student SHRM Chapter is hosting the 2007 HR Games / Student State Conference. The event will be held on February 23 and 24 at the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison (Grainger Hall). The student chapter needs your help.


The HRGames are a fun way to motivate and prepare students for PHR certification. The HRGames consist of a two-day series of game show style matches, between teams of up to three undergraduate students from various colleges and universities. The questions for the matches are divided into categories similar to those used in the PHR certification exam (i.e., Management Practices; Selection & Recruitment; Training & Development; Compensation & Benefits; Employee/Labor Relations; and Health, Safety & Security). In each round, students select points and a category of questions. The question is read twice and the teams have 15 seconds to supply the correct answer. After a series of initial matches, teams with the best records participate in the championship rounds for first and second place.

Winning teams at the state level earn the right to compete at the regional competitions. Although the advancement format varies by region, teams typically compete on the state level first. Regional winners go on to compete against other regional champions at the SHRM Annual Conference.

There are many benefits to the HRGames. The HRGames are an event that offers the opportunity to bring professional chapter volunteers, students and student chapter advisors together in a meaningful way. The effort it takes to plan and conduct the games is worthwhile and beneficial to the professional members as well as the students. The volunteers conducting the games get a refresher course in the body of knowledge required of a human resource professional as they listen to the students answer questions. The students receive an opportunity to network with other students and showcase their knowledge to HR practitioners.

Volunteering - How You Can Help

We need approximately 55 volunteers to assist with the HRGames. Overall, we need a Matrix Manager, Volunteer Trainer, and Registration Helpers. For each room, we will need a Presenter, Timekeeper, and Scorekeeper, Judge (PHR or SPHR) and Senior Judge (SPHR). We anticipate using 10 rooms.

In addition to the volunteers needed to assist with the HRGames, we are seeking volunteers to speak to students. Possible topics include the following:

  • Panel of recent graduates discussing how each got his/her start in HR
  • Wellness Programs
  • Teamwork or Effective Communication
  • Importance of HR understanding the strategy of company and each position
  • Training/Motivation
  • Case study experiences

HRGames Tentative Schedule:

Friday, February 23 rd:

5:00 - 6:00 Registration begins
5:15 - 6:00 Volunteer training. 
6:00 - 6:15 Opening comments

Team schedule

6:15 - 7:15  Round I
7:15 - 8:00  Round II
8:00 - 8:45  Round III
8:45 - 9:30  Round IV

Saturday, February 24 th

8:00 – 9:00 Registration and continental breakfast. 
9:00 – 10:00 Speaker
10:15 – 11:15 Speaker
11:30 – 12:30 Speaker
12:30 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:05 HR Games Semi-finals
2:15 – 3:00 HR Games Finals
3:00 - 3:20 Concluding Comments and Awards Presentation.

How to get involved?

If you are interested in volunteering, speaking or would like more information about the HRGames / Student State Conference please contact: John Komosa, GMA SHRM Director of Education & Professional Development , 608-204-6276 direct, johnk@qstaff.com.

Community Events


Holiday Networking Open House, Career Momentum, Inc., 4:00-7:00 p.m. This free event is a great way to start your networking year off right. 2007’s event will again feature refreshments, networking, and door prizes, as well as a non-perishable food collection for the Dane County Food Pantry. Attendees are also encouraged to bring along their best New Years Career Resolution. A door prize will be given for the most original resolution. Last year’s event drew more than 60 professionals and executives who shared food, fun, networking, and door prizes.

The event will be held at Career Momentum’s Madison office, registration required. To sign up, please go to www.careermomentum.com/news-events.


Winter Series on Leadership: Getting the Most Out of Coaching Tools, hosted by Career Momentum, Inc., 7:30 to 8:30 am. Part of a series of free breakfast meetings on issues of leadership and organizational development, targeted to business managers and human resource professionals. The January meeting will focus on Creating Individual Development Plans and Developing Accountability. For more information and to register go to “News & Events” at www.CareerMomentum.com.

Movin' Up

Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!

HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:

Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!

Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.

The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre-submit an article to GMA SHRM at any time for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.

Article length:

Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too lengthy.


GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission relates to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.

If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at chapteradmin@gmashrm.org .







Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818
Web: http://www.gmashrm.org/

© 2004; Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc. All rights reserved.