October 2006



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- Welcome New Members

- Movin' Up

- Community Events




2006 Corporate Partners

American Family Insurance
Career Momentum
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

Mortenson, Matzelle & Meldrum, Inc.
Stark Company Realtors
Quarles and Brady LLP

ABR Employment Services
Higgins Hemb Insurance Group
General Casualty Insurance Companies
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Right Management

Thank you!


ark Your Calendar

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



October 24 — Member Welcome and Orientation

Program Details

October 26 — Small HR PEG

Compensation Related Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Program Details

November 14 — Chapter Meeting

Developing Strong People Skills in Managers and Supervisors
How to Avoid Taking Things Personally

This Meeting Sponsored by our Gold Partner Lee Hecht Harrison

Program Details

2006 Compensation Surveys are Now Available!

Participant data is currently being compiled for the Benefits survey. For more information including the order forms, click here to visit the Survey Information Page from the GMA SHRM website.

- Community activities Community Events
- Conferences


- Orientation  
- Certification Prep Information


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

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

October 26 — Small HR PEG - Compensation Related Mistakes and How To Avoid Them Program Details

- 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

“HR: Leading People, Leading Organizations”… If you’ve visited the national SHRM website (www.shrm.org) you may have noticed this tag line at the top of the page. This certainly is a simple, yet “right on the mark” description of the HR profession. Staying on top of HR trends and focus areas while serving as a leader of people and as a leader in your organization is not an easy task. There’s so much to stay current on, whether it’s in the area of workplace law, compensation & benefits, staffing & recruiting, workplace diversity, or HR measurements (to name just a few.) This is in addition to dealing with employee relations, strategic planning, and other priorities.

How can GMA SHRM help you with all this? Our Mission is to “Serve the Professional and Advance the Profession.” The programming developed for the balance of 2006 and into 2007 will provide learning opportunities to help you stay on top of HR trends and focus areas. Some of the topics that will be covered yet in 2006 include: “Compensation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” (Small HR PEG October 26 th) “Case Studies of HR” (Wednesday in the Park November 8 th) and “Developing Strong People Skills and How to Avoid Taking Things Personally” (Chapter Meeting November 14 th). In 2007 watch for such topics as: HR Technology Trends, Strategies for Employee Communications, Healthcare Cost Containment, Exit Interviews, Legal Updates, and Behavioral Interviewing – Does it Work? Our availability of local professional development opportunities can help you improve your competence and advance yourself professionally.

Another exciting program to look forward to is our 2nd Annual One Day Conference in May 2007. Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 23, 2007, when the next conference will be held at the Madison Marriott West hotel. Plans are underway to develop a top-notch conference program with Conference Chair, Vicki Kampmeier, and the rest of the Conference Committee working to ensure a great learning experience.

Another way GMA SHRM can help you is to provide opportunities for you to develop relationships and contacts in other companies to share information on HR concerns. Whether you are looking for advice, new ideas, or even a new job, your GMA SHRM contacts can be valuable. An example of this is the recent September Chapter Meeting which was an excellent avenue for networking as Lori Gibson, Manager of Management & Leadership Development at UW Hospital and Clinics (and also VP of Programming for GMA SHRM), facilitated roundtable discussions on four hot topics related to recruiting, retention, management on-boarding, and employee communications.

Besides the contacts made at our regular programming events, there are opportunities to network at GMA SHRM Member Orientations. The next Member Orientation is scheduled for October 24 th. Whether you are a new member or someone who has been active for a while, we hope you will attend this fun and informative event.

And here is a “sneak peek” for something planned for later this year…The Local Net (typically found in the back of the membership directory) will be going through an evolution to an online version. It will be another way to connect with your fellow members to share information. There will be more details announced about these changes in upcoming newsletters and e-blasts.

I hope that you will find that your GMA SHRM membership will enhance your career, whether by helping you build knowledge and increase your competency in HR management, by the professional recognition you receive by being a member, and/or by the career network you establish of highly respected HR professionals. My suggestion is to make the most of all the organization offers. Please let me know (or any GMA SHRM Board Member) if there are other ways we can better serve you.

Pro-Union Bill Before Congress Gives Employees “Henry Ford” Choice
An editorial by Jim Pease, J.D., Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

Henry Ford is reputed to have said you could have any colored Model T Ford you wanted as long as it was black. That’s essentially the choice given to employees by a Bill to create the “Employee Free Choice Act.” Its purpose is not to give employees a free choice, but, rather, to undermine that freedom of choice and legitimatize coercing employees into unions. The Bill was introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts and Representative George Miller from California and has a huge number of cosponsors in both houses.

The purpose of the Bill is to eliminate the secret ballot election as the primary means for ensuring the freedom of employees to choose whether they want to be represented by a union or prefer not to be represented by a union. Instead, under the Bill, if it is determined that a majority of employees signed authorization cards, the union would be certified as their representative without any kind of an election.

Unlike secret ballot elections which are conducted under the supervision of the federal government and then only after both sides are given an opportunity to educate employees regarding the pros and cons of joining a union, authorization cards could be signed in secret before the employer was even aware that the union had started a campaign. The union agents soliciting those cards can utilize high pressure tactics to get reluctant employees to sign cards, and they could induce employees to sign the cards by buying them food and drink and making promises to them about all the great things the union would do. And, unlike a secret ballot election, the union organizer could stand over the employees and pressure them until they signed the cards. The employees wouldn’t be given a chance to hear the employer’s side or to otherwise check out the union’s propaganda. Virtually all of the protections currently provided by the secret ballot procedure administered by the National Labor Relations Board would be lost.

That, however, is just the beginning of the havoc this Bill could cause employers. If an employer is found to have discriminated against any employee during the unionization campaign, the employer would have to pay double damages for back pay, and a civil penalty of up to $20,000.00 could be imposed for each violation the employer is found to have committed. In addition, the Bill would require the NLRB to go into federal court to get an injunction to force the employer to reinstate any employee the NLRB alleged had been discriminatorily discharged.

Moreover, once a union is certified as the employees’ representative, if the employer doesn’t quickly negotiate a labor agreement with the union, a board of arbitration will be appointed to tell the parties what will be in their new agreement. As a practical matter, especially in the construction and construction supply industries, where unions generally try to subject all employers, big and small, to the same “area agreement,” that would mean unions would have little incentive to make concessions, and employers would be pressured to cave in to the union’s demand to avoid having the case turned over to an arbitration board.

It’s pretty obvious that the purpose of the Bill isn’t to protect employee freedom of choice. All these special provisions only apply when a union is trying to unionize a nonunion employer. They don’t apply when employees are trying to get rid of a union they no longer want to represent them. And, the thrust of the Bill is that employees would likely end up with the union’s area labor agreement even if that agreement may put their employer out of business. The Bill provides a one way street for the benefit of unions, not employees.

© 2006 Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

Jim Pease is a partner with Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C. He represents and defends employers in the areas of labor and employment law and advises employers on lawful and effective labor relations and personnel practices and on resolving disputes before they result in litigation.

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.

Website of the Month: State Mandated Health Benefits

 Did you know there are 1,843 state-mandated health benefits across the country? Do you ever wonder how Wisconsin stacks up against other states and how these benefits add to the cost of health care? If so, you should review this report by the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.

The report features a chart showing what benefits, from Alcoholism to Wilm’s Tumor, are mandated in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Next to the benefit you can also see how much the benefit contributes to the cost of health care.

Following the chart of mandated benefits, the report goes on to detail mandated provider coverage and covered persons. One of the new trends described in the CAHI report is the “slacker mandate” where states are increasing the age of covered dependents. New Mexico now allows coverage up to age 25 and New Jersey up to age 30.

While you may not be able to influence state-mandated benefits to any great extent, reading this report may help you to become knowledgeable about how the benefits, among many other factors, increase the cost of your health care plan.

From the National SHRM Bulletin Board…

Topic: Team Building for Managers - Help!

Posted: 9/19/2006 4:33:17 PM

Post: Our company currently has an annual manager's meeting. The meetings are pretty basic with a recap on how each office has performed for the year.

We're finding that the managers aren't getting much out of it, and would like to dig deeper and put together a day of activities that the managers can take back to their office and really use. For instance maybe problem solving and team building activities, and maybe bring in a speaker or two to talk on a specific topic.

Has anyone done anything similar, and if so, would you mind sharing your experiences? Thank you.

Number of Replies: 4 by 9/19/2006 9:04:45 PM

Posted Reply 1: An effective management training program I helped develop began with interviews conducted with each (or most) managers. The goal of each interview was to learn what were the "managerial issues" that were most common among all managers.

We then wrote vinnettes and hired professional actors/actresses to assist us in playing out the acts (which again were on topics provided by those who were going to be in attendance) on stage before th emanagers. We wrote the learning points in as humorous yet accurate portrayal on issues of concern to managers.

Use of humor and the presence of pro actors/actresses really captured the audience's attention. Our feedback was 100% positive!

If your culture is accepting/conducive of such activites, I recommend it.

Posted Reply 2: With the above suggestion: I've attended and used a comedy group that does this in a great way (Laughstock). It really IS a great eye opener to poke fun of your own (or team, or company's) errors, shortcomings, etc. and then move on from there.

With all that you want to do, though, one day a year doesn't seem to be a lot of time to really delve deeper. A quarterly mission check might work a little better in not only passing on the information, but helping to get back on track more quickly with some potential concern areas.


Total Human Resource Management—Integrating People Strategies With Business Strategy

By Mary Torrez, MRA

Organizations frequently talk about their “human resources” as their competitive edge. They keep their competitive edge sharp by investing in continued development. While continuous learning is vital to every organization, a much broader strategic approach is necessary to capitalize on the talent of your human resources.

Many business articles and books have been written recently about the looming talent shortage and the “era of people management.” In the book, The Workforce Scorecard—Managing Human Capital to Execute Strategy, written by Mark Huselid and Brian E. Becker, the authors state:

Of all the factors affecting firm performance that CEOs and senior managers can directly influence, workforce success—or the extent to which a firm can generate a workforce with the culture, mindset, competencies and strategic behaviors needed to execute its strategy—is both the most important and most underperforming asset in most businesses.

Further, they state, “meaningful improvements (about one-third increase over the average firm) in high-performance management systems will produce a 10 to 15 percent increase in shareholder value.”

Just as quality initiatives became an organization-wide responsibility in the 1980s, so have human resource initiatives become an organization-wide responsibility in 2006. The “people-management” programs, aligned with business strategy and integrated to form a system, require the collaborative identification and execution of the leadership team of an organization. While the human resource department takes the lead role in designing the programs and supporting tools, those individuals responsible for executing and sustaining programs to attract, develop, and retain organizational talent must be fully engaged in these initiatives.

The difficulty for an organization can be in determining which human resource initiatives will have the highest impact on achieving organizational goals. An organization has a multitude of opportunities to position itself as a place where people want to work. This can include offering a total rewards program or taking steps to become an employer of choice. There are also many different investments that an organization can make to develop and retain talent such as performance management, coaching, and engagement strategies.

It is important that a systematic approach be taken to identify, prioritize, and continuously evaluate people-management strategies. One way to accomplish this is to identify people-management strategies available and evaluate the strategies against the organization’s strategic plan for alignment and highest impact. The integration of selected strategies is critical in ensuring that the strategies reinforce each other.

By involving the leadership team in this initiative an opportunity is created for them to collaboratively discuss the organization’s people strategies and determine areas needed to further concentrate on for future success. The result is a shared understanding and management ownership of strategy execution to focus employee (i.e., human resource) efforts on desired business outcomes.

Mary Torrez is the Director of Business Partnerships at MRA. If you have questions about this article, you can contact her at 262-696-3526, or maryt@mranet.org. Reprinted from MRA HR Digest- August 2006


Website of the Month: HR Glossary

Did you just get out of a meeting where you discussed business process outsourcing and how it relates to your employment branding and whether it affects your talent management system and, by the way, what’s the hROI? There’s no question we deal with quite a few buzzwords and jargon in the HR profession. If you’re mystified by a few or want more background on some concepts you’re starting to learn, click here for an HR glossary courtesy of Veritude. You can find out what a “passive candidate” is and what “inboarding” means. In addition, you can click on related articles and web resources to learn more about the term defined. And if one of your own HR terms is starting to catch on, you can even suggest an addition to the glossary.


2007 Marketing Opportunities With Society for Human Resource Management

Is your organization looking for strategies to promote its products or service to Madison-area HR professionals?  Then consider the many opportunities available through GMA SHRM.

For 2007, our chapter continues to offer a variety of options for any size budget.  Some highlights include:

  • Annual opportunities including Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising for 2007.  Sign up available now through November 10.
  • Year-round opportunities available on a limited basis (first come, first-served), such as website advertising, e-blast sponsorship, displays at meetings, and meeting sponsorship.

The GMA SHRM chapter is one of the largest in the United States.  It is comprised of a diverse group of over 800 professionals representing more than 500 employers.  View our chapter's expanded marketing opportunities.

For the Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising, the chapter contacted past participants and potential partners and advertisers by email in September and will follow up through October on these time-sensitive annual opportunities. This year, we are offering an “early bird” special -- additional marketing opportunities at no additional charge -- for those who respond early to participate in our 2007 partnership program. If your organization has not received the email about the 2007 marketing opportunities, please contact Dave Furlan, Marketing and Communications Committee Co-Chair.

We appreciate your consideration of these opportunities and look forward to another successful year with our corporate partners and advertisers.

Congratulations Newly Certified Members!

Please join GMA SHRM in congratulating the following chapter members who passed the PHR/SPHR exam during the May/June exam period. Great job on this important step in your career!

Michael A. Baldwin, SPHR

Jennifer Brown, PHR

Sara R. Brunner, PHR

Melanie A. Corning, PHR

Kimberly Crowell, SPHR

Amy M. Johnson, PHR

Kimberly E. Konkel, PHR

Kimberly A. Marshall, PHR

Julie A. Nicodemus, SPHR

Sonja S. Parish, SPHR

Cynthia K. Rhyner, PHR

Michelle L. Running, PHR

Holly C. Thompson, PHR

Brian M. Zach, PHR

Welcome New Members!

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

Lisa Egner

Human Resources Generalist

The University Book Store

Rachelle D. Hady

Benefits Specialist

Sun Prairie Area School District

Andrew E. Mattson

Human Resources Analyst

WEA Trust

Kelly M. Schmig

Human Resources Assistant



Community Events


5th Annual YWCA Racial Justice Conference at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Topic - Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Model for Organization Change. The conference will feature internationally recognized speaker on cultural diversity, Dr. Taylor Cox, as well as YWCA Racial Justice programming designed to support diversity initiatives spearheaded at the conference. Participants will learn both about a template for strategic change to create a multicultural environment and about different models of racial justice programming that are currently available. This conference will benefit any organization that is working to increase diversity and capacity for a more inclusive, multicultural workplace. More information can be found at: http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=lkJZJdO4F&b=1518707 .

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.