February Events 2017!

Its almost spring and tax time!  Check out some of the events around the state happening this month!



February 3 – Coffee and Conversations– Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley SHRM

February 3-CVSHRM-Eu Claire, Chippewa Valley SHRM

February 7-Three P’s of Successful Recruiting-New Richmond, SCVEA

February 8 – Legal Updates: New Developments, Trends and things you need to know – Beaver Dam, SHRM – Dodge County

February 8 – Best Practices in measuring and driving employment engagement– Oshkosh, Oshkosh Area SHRM

February 9 – Mentoring: Are you ready to grow people? – Wausau, West Central WI SHRM

February 14-Crisis Management and Planning. Is your Business prepared?-Beloit, Blackhawk HR Association

February 14 – Linked In for Recruiting and Careers in HR – Manitowoc, Jefferson Co HR Management

February 15 – Employee Engagement – La Crosse, La Crosse Area SHRM

February 15 –Pre-Employment Background Checks, the Fair Credit Reporting Act AND Active Shooter Response-Green Bay, Green Bay Area SHRM

February 16 – OSHA Update– Sheboygan, Sheboygan Area – SHRM


February 21 – Stragegies to help employers & employees cut costs in healthcare spending – Milwaukee, Metro Milwaukee SHRM

February 21- Annual Labor and Employment Law Update – Kimberly, Fox Valley SHRM

February 22-Monthly Meeting-Manitowoc, LAHRA

February 23- GMA Networking Night-Verona, GMA SHRM

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January 2017 Programming

Ready or not, 2017 is HERE!  Make your resolution to get involved in and attend your local SHRM chapter’s events.  Click on the program title below for details to events in your area.

Not sure which chapter is nearest you?  Take a look at WISHRM’s Local Chapters page for more information.

January 5 – Wage and Hour Quarterly Open Forum & Networking – Wausau, Central Wisconsin SHRM

January 10 – Diversity –  Janesville, Blackhawk HRA

January 11 – Health Care Reform & Employers– Oshkosh, Oshkosh Area SHRM

January 12 – Legal Updates – Wausau, Central Wisconsin SHRM

January 13 – January Monthly Member Meeting – Tomah, West Central WI SHRM

January 17 – Managing Change Management – Kimberly, Fox Valley SHRM

January 18 – Creative and Unique Compensation Strategies –  Green Bay, Green Bay Area SHRM

January 19 – Employee Benefit Plans / Reasonable Alternative Standards to Benefits/Wellness– Sheboygan, Sheboygan Area – SHRM

January 24 – Panel Discussion: Stump the Seniors– Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley SHRM

January 31 – Professional Development Summit –  Madison, Greater Madison Area SHRM



Don’t forget about DAY ON THE HILL!  Join WISHRM on January 17-18 in Madison!

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December 2016 Programming

Winter has arrived in WI!  Stay warm and out of the snow by attending one of WISHRM’s local chapter events.  Click on the program title below for details to events in your area.

Not sure which chapter is nearest you?  Take a look at WISHRM’s Local Chapters page for more information.

December 7 – Using Humor in the Workplace – Manitowoc, Lakeshore HRA

December 7 – Holiday Networking Event – Milwaukee, Metro Milwaukee SHRM

December 8 – FVSHRM Wine Tasting Event – Kimberly, Fox Valley SHRM

December 8 – December Monthly Meeting – Wausau, Central Wisconsin SHRM

December 9 – Member Social & Appreciation Event – Tomah, West Central WI SHRM

December 14 – Holiday Social – Plover,  Stevens Point Area HRA

December 14 – Self-Funded Health Care Plans – Beaver Dam, SHRM – Dodge County

December 14 – USERRA Workshop– Oshkosh, Oshkosh Area SHRM

December 14 – Mindfulness – The Gift of Being Present – La Crosse, La Crosse Area SHRM

December 15 – Training and Development / Holiday Event– Sheboygan, Sheboygan Area – SHRM

December 15 – Season of Giving Community Service Event– Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley SHRM

December 21 – HR Leader to Chief People Officer –  Green Bay, Green Bay Area SHRM

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Retention and Recruiting In A Tight Labor Market

By: Mike Previte- Human Resources Program Director- WCTC

In her article about the talent market, writer Anna Grace Nimke says that “we are approaching a time when the number of new entrants to the workforce (age 18-64) will be the lowest on record since the boom of baby boomers..” in the late 1940s, 50s and early 60s. Because this will create a need to adapt to this shortage of workers, it will “at least require a reallocation of resources”, in this case, an outstanding and industry competitive retention strategy!

She goes on to say that “there are some organizations that are ready…They believe the more satisfied and engaged their workforce is, the more successful they will be.” This was never more evident in the Western Electric-Bell Labs world of Lucent Technologies in 1996.

Lucent, under the leadership of Henry Schacht, who was brought in to oversee its transition from an arm of AT&T into an independent corporation (Wikipedia),  developed a winning formula for retention and outstanding customer service.  In fact, their first year of existence, Lucent won the Malcolm Baldridge Award for Quality.  How did they do it? A simple formula that read “Employee Satisfaction leads to Customer Satisfaction leads to Profitability and Shareholder Value!”

So it starts with the employees. How do you retain the good ones in such a competitive manufacturing state?  Nimke says it is done in “ a workplace that:

  • Acknowledges employees as the true assets
  • Rewards his or her contributions appropriately
  • Celebrates success
  • Treats applicants and candidates as well as it treats its customers.”

Especially in a tight labor market, executives must be ever-mindful about their reputations as employers, according to Sara Meaney, managing director at BVK, a Milwaukee-based brand development agency.

We as HR Managers must remember that the ROI on retention is positive.  The opposite is true for turnover. What would cause employees to be engaged in your company??


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GMA-SHRM Shakes Up Programming

Beginning January 2016, GMA-SHRM made a major change in their programming by offering a membership that includes free attendance to all programming events except the Human Capital Conference. The reason for this change was to provide more value to the members by making it easier for them to attend events. Members now only have to ask their employer once for the membership fee instead of asking for reimbursement for each programming fee. Dues did increase slightly, but there’s been extremely positive feedback and comments on how much easier it is to renew their membership and not have to pay for each event separately.

Along with the inclusive membership change, the programming structure was also modified.  Instead of monthly events, the summits and toolboxes were combined into quarterly Professional Development Summits (PDS).  Two educational sessions (PDS) are offered in one day four times per year, equaling eight educational programs. Members still receive just as much education but are only out of the office four mornings of the year instead of eight. GMA-SHRM plans to continue offering quality programming and recertification credits (both HRCI and SHRM) for all of these events. Interestingly, these changes have resulted in double the attendance at the events to date, which provides additional value by giving members a larger network of individuals to connect with at the event and giving our partners a wider audience.

GMA-SHRM also started offering monthly networking opportunities through a HR Advice Network Roundtable that replaced past roundtables and the solo HR practitioner Resource Group. These are also free events that are included in the new all-inclusive membership fee. They are offered as a resource for GMA SHRM HR professionals to get together and share information, seek advice, discuss best practices, and provide support to one another.  Some questions captured at these events are also posted on GMA-SHRM’s on-line Idea Exchange; another resource that allows members to connect and tap into each other’s knowledge and expertise.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these changes or resources, please contact Melissa Chadwick, the current president, at melissa.chadwick@bakertilly.com.

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BHRA Chapter Update

By: Steve Stenulson, BHRA President

BHRA has many things to be excited about! We are inching closer to reaching 200 members, and will be using Facebook posts to try to increase our membership even further this coming year. Some of the other things occurring are:

  • Coming up with a new BHRA logo
  • Establishing a partnership with Jr. Achievement of Wisconsin
  • Our 2nd SHRM Certification Study Group
  • Planning Networking Events separate of General Membership Meetings
  • Increased Sponsorships for Programming

We asked our membership what they wanted to learn about in programming this year, and feel we answered their requests. Our current programming for 2016-2017 is as follows:


As always, we are interested in hearing what great things are happening in other chapters, so we can learn from each other.


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Holy Toledo – What’s an HR Professional to Do?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) salary threshold of $47,476 goes into effect on December 1, 2016.  Or does it?  While the likelihood of any action derailing the freight train coming out of the Department of Labor (DOL) is small, here is some of the activity currently going on in opposition to the new regs intended to be effective December 1:

  • The House of Representatives passed H.R. 6094 on September 28 that would delay by six months the effective date of the new overtime regulations. A driver of the legislation was the argument by small businesses that they would be forced to implement layoffs. The University of Michigan has announced it is increasing tuition by 4% because of the new threshold.  The delayed effective date would be June 1, 2017.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit on September 20 as part of a coalition of business groups. The lawsuit argues that the new salary threshold is “indefensibly high” by using methodology that has not been used before by the DOL, and that by tying inflation statistics to the three-year automatic update, the DOL acted outside its allowed constitutional powers under the FLSA.
  • Twenty-one state governments filed a lawsuit, also on September 20, led by the Texas and Nevada attorneys general. The suit argues that the DOL’s rule infringes upon state sovereignty and federalism by mandating state employees follow the federal compensation requirements.  The suit alleges states will be forced to cut back on public services if the rule goes into effect.  The states also argue that elevating the salary threshold over the duties test does not follow the intent of the FLSA, which historically treats both provisions equally.  From the suit: “One would think – as the statute indicates – that actually performing white-collar duties…would be the best indicator of white-collar exemption status.”  Yes, wouldn’t one? (editorial comment) The suit further states that the mandate of indexed adjustments to the salary threshold is unlawful.
  • Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced legislation (R. 5813, Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act) to phase in implementation of the new overtime rule. The proposed legislation would raise the new threshold incrementally over the next three years, beginning with a 50% increase in December 2016, to an annual salary of $35,984.  In subsequent years, the threshold would increase to $39,814 (2017), $43,645 (2018), and $47,476 (2019).  The bill also prohibits the automatic increases in the final rule.  The bill has strong bipartisan support.
  • The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707 and H.R. 4773) was introduced March 17 and would nullify the final rule, require a comprehensive economic analysis of the rule’s impact, prohibit automatic increases to the salary threshold, and require that any future changes to the duties test be subject to notice and comment periods.
  • Senate bill S. 3429 to delay implementation of the overtime rule.
  • Resolution 95 and S. Joint Resolution 34, providing for congressional disapproval of the new FLSA rule.

While most consulting firms and employment attorneys are recommending employers proceed with plans to accommodate the new regs, a few are suggesting a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude.  Clearly, the timeline is pretty tight for that.

Is your company prepared to act?

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2016 WISHRM Diversity Advocate Award Winners

Every year, the Wisconsin SHRM State Council searches for an organization to recognize for all their hard work in the areas of diversity, inclusiveness and workflex.  We look for an organization that is a pioneer, leading innovative initiatives to make their workforce feel included, that their diverse backgrounds contribute to the organization’s competitive advantage and the work is accomplished in flexible ways that create an effective environment. It is the intent of the Wisconsin SHRM State Council to recognize and share these best practices so other organizations can learn and benefit from the shared knowledge.

This year, the Wisconsin SHRM State Council was lucky enough to find not one, but two organizations worthy of such recognition.  The 2016 Wisconsin SHRM Diversity, Inclusion and Workflex award is presented to:

Gundersen Health System, based out of La Crosse, WI and

Milwaukee Center for Independence, based out of Milwaukee, WI.

Both organizations show commitment starting at the very top; the senior leadership groups embody these ideals and espouse a diverse, inclusive and effective culture.  Both organizations are very active within their communities to bring this message of inclusiveness to those that use their services.  And both organizations support this culture with training that fosters candid, open dialogue about the different issues facing the workface and the community.

Gundersen Health System has held and participated in many community events while on this incredible journey.  Some highlights include:

  • Founding member of the Greater La Crosse Diversity Council; an HR Representative is currently the president of the Council.
  • Holding a Hmong Community Open House in spring of 2016 to become better acquainted with the Hmong community.
  • Partnering with Ho-Chunk nation to deliver culture specific education to clinical staff caring for Ho-Chunk patients. Created and delivered clinical education for the Somali culture as well.
  • Collaborating with a local leader to develop and create transgender and gender identity education for all staff.
  • Gundersen staff serve on the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium’s Cultural Competency Committee, of which an Executive Director was part of the creation of the committee. Additional staff were involved in the rollout of a website offering free training for individuals desiring to be culturally competent: http://www.lacrosseconsortium.org/content/c/personal_journey
  • Helping to develop a pre-college healthcare education program which encourages participation of low income and minority students in healthcare careers.
  • Partnering with Scenic Rivers AHEC to hold Healthcare Career Camps for Native American students.
  • Creating the position of Adult Disabilities Coordinator, one of few in the country, to assist people with disabilities as they navigate through the healthcare system, helping to coordinate their care and advocate for them.
  • Starting a Community Food Donation Project with the goal of dramatically reducing food waste while capturing leftovers for the Salvation Army; over 4,000 pounds of food was donated in 2015.

Milwaukee Center for Independence is a repeat winner of the award.  Along with holding and participating in community events, the most recent efforts include:

  • Creating Diversity Appreciation Month with the introduction of Crucial Cultural Conversations, providing a safe, semi-structured environment for employees to discuss diversity-themed topics.
  • Facilitating a memorandum of understanding between Metro Milwaukee SHRM and the Milwaukee chapter of National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) with a goal of educating the HR community about the high rate of unemployment of African-Americans in Milwaukee.
  • Partnering with Wheaton Franciscan HealthCare and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, working collectively to diversity hiring practices in the health care industry.
  • Establishing the Black Male Initiative to address high African-American male unemployment in Milwaukee, coupled with organizing a Black Male Summit to bring key community stakeholders together.
  • Increasing community participation in events within the Black community, including the WNOV Radio Resource Fair (oldest and only radio show owned by an African-American firm with a primarily African-American leadership); Brain, Brawn & Body; and the Fellas Health Walk.
  • Implementing a robust IT network that is accessible both on- and off-site, allowing individuals to log in from anywhere and seamlessly access materials they need even when not at the worksite, as well as offering laptops as an option for employees to encourage working remotely.
  • Establishing an employee resource group (ERG) for working parents and chartering a soon-to-be established second ERG for African-American employees.

We look forward to both organizations sharing more about their innovative initiatives during a breakout session at the 2017 Wisconsin SHRM State Conference, which will take place October 11th through the 13th at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells.  Congratulations again to Gundersen Health System and Milwaukee Center for Independence for their commitment to diversity, inclusion and workflex!

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WI SHRM 3rd Annual Day on the Hill – 1/18/17


Join WI SHRM for the 3rd Annual Day on the Hill

When: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – 8:00a-4:30p

WhereBest Western Premier Park Hotel

Who: WI SHRM and YOU!

Join your HR colleagues from around the state at our 3rd Annual WI SHRM Day on the Hill Event! The Day on the Hill provides you the unique opportunity to travel to Madison, WI for a day of legislative insight and networking with colleagues and legislators. Also, join us Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a social/networking reception sponsored by Greater Madison Area SHRM Chapter.

Additional information and registration at:  http://www.wishrm.org/2017-Day-on-the-Hill 

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LAHRA – Now Accepting Nominations for HR Professional of the Year Award

The Lakeshore Area Human Resource Association (LAHRA) is having a busy October.  Like many of you, we recently attended the WI SHRM Conference.  What a great learning opportunity!  For those of you that have never had the chance to attend, I highly recommend penciling in a Save the Date for next years conference on October 11-13, 2017.  You won’t be disappointed.

The Lakeshore Area Human Resource Association is now accepting nominations for the Lakeshore Area HR Professional of the Year award.  The purpose of the award is to recognize a member of our Association for his/her outstanding contributions to their employer, profession and community.  Do you know a LAHRA member that has made a difference in the HR community?  If so, please take a moment and nominate him/her for the award.  The nomination form can be found by clicking here. 

Our next General Membership Meeting will be held on October 26th from 11a to 1p.  As an HR Professional, you face challenges every day in the workplace.  These challenges have never been more complex.  The October meeting will discuss the most frequent concerns that HR Professionals face on a daily basis.  Join us as Bill Persinger facilitates discussion between our attendees leading us to learn innovative ways to handle these pitfalls from our HR peers.  If you are interested in attending and sharing your story, click here to register.  If you belong to a SHRM chapter, we are offering this session to you at our member rate of $20.  Registration is required.

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