WI SHRM is taking Bids to Host the 2016 WI SHRM HR Games and Student Conference

Greetings SHRM Student Chapters!

Is your student chapter interested in hosting the HRGames and Student Conference in 2016? Then be sure to submit a Bid Proposal by Thursday, April 30, 2015! That is just over a week away!

There are many benefits to hosting the HRGames and Student Conference. This event offers the opportunity to bring significant recognition to your university, community and chapter in addition to bringing 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 you, your peers, and the professional members that volunteer and participate in this energizing event. It is also an excellent resume builder!

For those that have not attended this event in the past, the HRGames consist of a two-day (Friday and Saturday) series of game show style matches between teams of up to three undergraduate students from various Wisconsin colleges and universities. The questions for the matches are divided into categories similar to those used in the Assurance of Learning (AOL) exam. Here the students receive an opportunity to network with other students and showcase their knowledge to HR practitioners.

The one day Student Conference (Saturday) is generally split into breakout sessions covering various industry related topics. We strive to provide an atmosphere of learning, networking, inspiration, collaboration and engagement for everyone’s professional development.

The form to submit your bid/proposal to host the event was sent via e-mail to all WI Student SHRM chapters earlier this week.  Act quickly!  The deadline is approaching fast!

We are excited to receive your bid to nominate the 2016 HRGames and Student Conference! If you have ANY questions, please contact Ashly Woosypiti, Wisconsin State SHRM Council – College Relations Director (Elect).  Ashly.Woosypiti@gmail.com or by phone at: (414) 732-5246.  Good luck!!

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Sheboygan Area SHRM Partners with Other Community Organizations to Address the Skills Gap

The Sheboygan Area chapter of SHRM has begun working on a half-day seminar to be offered in September, 2015. This venue will be offered in conjunction with the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce and the SCEDC (Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation).

For several months, representatives from all three organizations have been involved in conversations involving a common workforce struggle – the skills gap. This “gap” centers around finding enough talent to fill the growing number of vacant technical positions, finding qualified candidates from the applicants we receive, and keeping the talent in our area once we have found it. This half-day seminar will combine the efforts of all three organizations by bringing experts, educators, and professionals to address the topic and offer solutions on how to overcome this common challenge.

Although this event is still in the planning stages, the day will include a keynote speaker with lunch, breakout sessions, and an exhibit-type area for guests to meet with the speakers, local educators, and colleagues to network and gain additional insight on the topics introduced in the sessions.

While all three organizations have been working separately to find solutions for their members, this event will combine the efforts of all three to offer a more inclusive view of where we are and aid in finding resources to continue moving past the gap.

Blog post submitted by Debbie Morgan, President of Sheboygan Area SHRM

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Fox Valley SHRM is Hosting a Networking Fundraising Event for the SHRM Foundation

Fox Valley SHRM is dreaming of warmer weather with our 2nd annual Betting on the Beach event.

As a member of SHRM, you know that the SHRM Foundation is the globally recognized catalyst for shaping human resource thought leadership and research. The important work of the SHRM Foundation includes:

  • Strategic Thought Leadership Initiatives – The SHRM Foundation is conducting a multi-phase program to identify and analyze critical trends likely to impact the workplace in 5-10 years.
  • Innovative Academic Research Grants -The SHRM Foundation is a leading supporter of HR research. Over the past three years, the SHRM Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to fund rigorous, original academic research with practical implications for HR management practice.
  • Scholarships -The SHRM Foundation awards $170,000 annually in education and certification scholarships to professional and student SHRM members, and doctoral students.
  • Educational Resources – The SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines series makes research findings easily accessible to HR practitioners. The Foundation has also created a series of educational DVDs for SHRM chapter programming, staff trainings, and executive education sessions.

To continue to support the important SHRM Foundation work to advance the Human Resource profession, the Fox Valley SHRM chapter will be holding our 2nd annual Casino Night: “Betting on the Beach” which will be held April 9th, 2015 from 5:30pm to 9:00pm at Pullman’s Trolley Square (619 South Olde Oneida Street, Appleton, WI 54915). Cost of the event is $30 per person, Significant others and friends welcome.

If you are interested in attending, please sign up at the chapter’s website at www.fvshrm.org.  All are welcome!!

Blog post submitted by Chris Ciechanowski, VP of Electronic Communications for FVSHRM

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Spring HR Events in Chippewa Valley

The Chippewa Valley SHRM chapter continues to partner with the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce on the HR Conference for the Chippewa Valley region.

The next HR conference will take place at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire on April 7th with great opportunities to learn more about a variety of HR topics. Click here for more details of this great event.

CVSHRM is also hosting some other events, such as Managing Change in May and Crucial Accountability in June. To see more events planned by the Chippewa Valley SHRM Chapter, please visit the CVSHRM website.

Blog post submitted by Jessica Barnier, President of Chippewa Valley SHRM

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Legislative Updated Shared from Stevens Point Area HR Association

Stevens Point Area Human Resource Association – Legal / Legislative Update –  March 2015

Breaking news from Wisconsin!
• The State of Wisconsin Legislature approved Right-To-Work legislation and Governor Walker signed the bill. What does the legislation do? It prohibits future collective bargaining agreements from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to become or remain a union member or to pay any union dues, fees, assessments, charges, or other expenses to a union (such requirements are typically called “union security clauses” because, hey, they provide security for union rosters and treasuries). Check out SPAHRA’s blog posting on the SPAHRA website for more information.

• The IRS has released the final versions of Forms 6055 and 6056 along with instructions on completing the forms. Every provider of minimum essential coverage (MEC) must report coverage information by filing an information return with the IRS (Form 6055) and furnishing a W2-like statement to individuals (Form 6056). The information reporting requirements are effective for coverage provided in 2015, with health coverage providers filing information returns with the IRS and furnishing statements to individuals in 2016, to report coverage information in calendar year 2015. Why am I bothering you with this now, when 2015 has barely begun? Because there is a great deal of information to be collected and stored now so you will be able to meet your reporting obligation in 2016.

• Meanwhile, Harvard professors are outraged that the University’s health insurance plan has increased annual deductibles (to a whopping $250 individual/$750 family), and added $20 copays for office visits and 10% coinsurance, up to out-of-pocket maximums of $1,500 individual/$4,500 family. University communications attributed the changes to ACA provisions related to coverage extensions for children up to age 26, free preventive care, and the impending Cadillac tax set to take effect in 2018. Professors characterized the changes as “deplorable, deeply regressive, a sign of the corporatization of the university” and a pay cut. What tickled my funnybone about this story was that many professors (at Harvard as well as other largely liberal academic settings) supported the passage of the ACA. They really do live in an ivory tower!

• Bloomberg news service reports that large employers (remember, that’s any company with 100 or more employees under the ACA) are increasingly putting an end to their most generous health-care coverage plans as the 40% excise tax known as the Cadillac tax looms closer under the ACA. Companies are introducing higher deductibles, copays, and coinsurance percentages in an effect to reduce the overall premium (value) of the plan to fit under the ACA’s established dollar value definition of high-value health plan (currently $10,200 annual for an individual and $27,500 for a family). A vice president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers, said, “It doesn’t help the company, it doesn’t help the employees, it doesn’t help the shareholders. It doesn’t really help anybody except the federal government.”

Without the revenue from the Cadillac Tax, which was long ago factored into budget projections, the Congressional Budget Office has said that up to $111 billion will be added to the deficit by 2022; something that should have been easily foreseen, because what company wants to, or can afford to, pay a 40% tax on top of all the other fees, taxes, and administrative costs built into the ACA?

• Ambush Election Rule
Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate, in the form of resolutions of disapproval, to block the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) “ambush” election rule. The ambush election rule gets its nickname because of its focus on speeding up the union election process at the expense of both employees and employers, who will have insufficient time to understand the consequences of unionization in the workplace. SHRM believes the ambush election rule constitutes an imbalanced approach that limits employer free speech during union organizing campaigns. The timing of the resolutions is meant to send a message of disapproval prior to the NLRB rule’s April 14, 2015 effective date.
• The day before the feds were set to start issuing paperwork for up to 5 million undocumented workers, a Federal District Court judge issued a temporary injunction on President Obama’s Executive Action on implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the proposed expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The judge’s action was based on his belief that the Obama Administration failed to adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in creating the DAPA program. Specifically, DAPA is a “substantive” or “legislative” rule that should have undergone the notice and comment rulemaking process of the APA. The judge also opined that the 26 states who are suing the administration are likely to prevail on the merits of their case (that implementation will have a significant negative impact financially for individual states). The temporary injunction enjoins the Department of Homeland Security from implementing any and all aspects and phases of the DAPA program and expansions of the DACA program, pending a trial on the merits or a further order by the District Court, Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blog post submitted by Amanda Pixler, SPAHRA Communications Chair

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Great Chapter Programming on the Docket for the Green Bay Area

Check out what the Green Bay Area Chapter SHRM has lined up for programs in April and May. For more information or to register, check out the chapter website at www.gbshrm.org .

April 15th – Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Insurance Strategy
Cindy CanAsten and Lynn Green

Cindy CanAsten from M3 and Lynn Green from Green Associates will be presenting strategies related to Wellness and Workers Compensation Insurance. The benefits of a coordinated approach and other discussion items!

Benefits of Coordinated Approach:
• Lower Health Care Costs
• Lower Workers Compensation Costs
• Decreased Absence and Higher Productivity

Additional Wellness & Workers Compensation Discussion Items:
• Importance of Mental Health Wellness as Part of the Wellness Program
• No or Low Cost Impact Items

May 20th – Legal Update
Davis & Kuelthau and The Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry

Coming from the law experts of Davis & Kuelthau and the Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, Attorney Bruce Deadman will start the program off by facilitating a group presentation on Wisconsin Federal Legal Developments (case-law, legislation and regulations) where the attorneys will talk about recent state and federal legislative and regulatory developments.

Similar to previous years, attendees will have the opportunity to select between breakout sessions from the topics offered. Pre-selection is not required, simply attend the presentations that appeal to you. The breakout topics are:
• Full Life Cycle of an Employee- Risks and what to watch for
• ADA, FMLA & Workers Compensation Scenarios of the Most Common HR Mistakes
• FLSA Best Practices

Blog post submitted by Rochelle Blindauer, Director of Communications for Green Bay Area SHRM.

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WI SHRM April Programming

Spring conferences for human resources professionals are happening across Wisconsin during the month of April.  There’s one happening near you!

In addition, these great programs are scheduled during the month of April at other local Wisconsin SHRM chapters:

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LASHRM Symposium – Making Sense of Business: Simulation

Save the Date! 

La Crosse Area SHRM Symposium – Making Sense of Business: Simulation

When: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where: Lunda Center, Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI

Time: 8 AM – 4 PM (7:30 AM Registration/Breakfast – Lunch @ 12-12:30 PM)

Cost: $100 for LASHRM Members (a $75 savings)

$175 Non-Members

$75 Students

Registration coming soon!

We need your help!

LASHRM is looking for approximately 12 table sponsors/organizations to make this event a success. Each sponsor (your organization) will “decorate” their table with pens, paper, etc. along with any marketing materials and brochures. In addition, the sponsor will be advertised in the LASHRM newsletter and newspaper announcement. All for a nominal sponsorship fee of $100.00 per table!

If your organization is interested in becoming a table sponsor, please contact Tracy Schams, LASHRM President-Elect at tschams@stansfieldvending.com or Miranda Eisermann, LASHRM Past President at meisermann@inlandlabel.com for more information. Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Making Sense of Business – Tell me more:

In this day long workshop, participants become entrepreneurial executives, teams become corporate giants, and the classroom becomes an entire industry. Teams decide what prices to set, whether to increase capacity, how much money to borrow, what R&D to pursue, and how to improve prices, cost structure, and cash flow. The business simulation models the real world, enabling participants to see their decisions’ impact on other departments, the ability to make future decisions, and the company’s bottom line results. Learners come away with an enhanced business readiness to take initiatives in everyday activities, leading to reductions in costs, inventories, and working capital; and enhanced understanding of how and why their everyday decisions and actions impact other areas of the company.


  •  Business has its own language, and this program is designed to help everyone communicate in the common language of the business. Many HR professionals have no idea what they’re looking at when reviewing a P&L. If we want a seat at the table we need to be a value add when we get invited.
  • Build your business vocabulary… know what you’re looking for when reviewing your organization’s financial statements understand the whole business and how it works.
  • The workbook clarifies business visualization, and offers participants the opportunity to come back and refresh their learning. In business visualization, you gain an enhanced way of seeing the interconnectedness of business ideas and concepts.
  • Participants are part of all the interconnections; their decisions impact all other departments (production, finance, marketing & sales, etc.) — and the business as a whole — probably more than they realize.
  • This program allows participants to see more clearly where they “stand on the board,” and how they impact organizational results. This in turn allows them to make better decisions, by anticipating the impacts more accurately.

Facilitator: John D. Lake, Jr.

  • Thought-provoking
  • Dynamic
  • Challenging
  • Fun

These are words that have been used to describe John’s presentations.

He’s not a motivational speaker in the traditional sense (rah-rah, let’s go get ‘em), but he will leave your attendees motivated to think a little differently – and want more!

A veteran presenter and facilitator with over 20 years of global platform and classroom experience, John has worked with all levels of organizations – from boardroom to mailroom. He has presented to 4th graders (over 15 years with Junior Achievement) on up to seasoned business professionals.

Whether developing Business Acumen or Interpersonal Communications skills, John’s primary theme is “WHOLE BUSINESS THINKING” – helping organizations (through their leaders) focus not only on the bottom line, but on the people who make that bottom line happen.

Follow La Crosse Area SHRM for more details on this great event!

Blog post submitted by Miranda Eisermann, Past President of LASHRM

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St. Croix Valley Employers Association Programmimg

St. Croix Valley Employers Association continues their partnership with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in New Richmond to host a prep course for individuals who are looking to become certified in the human resources profession, or to just gain extra knowledge in human resources. SCVEA members and HR professional have the opportunity to learn in a class room setting involving open discussion on human resource topics and networking opportunities. The prep course was held at the New Richmond WITC campus with a certified PHR/SPHR instructor.

Here are some great programs on the docket for this strong WI SHRM Chapter:
03/18/15 Managing an HR Department of One: From CHRO to Admin Assistant
05/20/15 SCVEA WI Employment Law Clinic (Networking event to follow)

Blog post submitted by Kristen Wilcox, the Marketing & Events Manager for SCVEA.

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Things to Consider When Developing a Tuition Assistance Program

Tuition Assistance Program

Many employers understand the need to help their employees achieve their personal career goals with many employees desiring an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The catch for many of these employees is the financial impact when taking on this endeavor. Tuition assistance programs can be extremely beneficial for employees if the policy is clear and concise. Here are a few tips to help you design a tuition assistance program:

  • Clear, concise program: Unfortunately, many times programs/policies can be intimidating and confusing making these programs almost useless. Make every effort to create a program that is easy to understand and has minimal steps for approval. If employees don’t understand it, they won’t use it. Likewise, if they are required to “jump through hoops” to gain approval, they’ll likely not find the program overly beneficial.
  • Who should pay? You’ll need to determine who you would like to pay in your tuition assistance process. Some institutions will defer tuition to the end of the semester for students covered by a tuition assistance program which may allow employers to pay directly to the institution. There are a couple of benefits to this program design. The employer knows the money is going direct to the employee’s education and the employee does not need “foot the bill” for a significant expense and then wait for reimbursement. The down-side to this design is that not all institutions allow tuition deferral so you may be paying benefits differently across your employee population. This may become administratively burdensome. On the other hand, you may consider a reimbursement program where the employee pays the tuition and is then reimbursed upon successful completion. The upside to this design is a consistent process for all employees which is administratively appealing for the employer. The downside, again, is that the employee will need to pay tuition at the beginning of the semester and then wait for reimbursement. The cost of tuition is alarming to many people and they are reluctant to take on the cost even with tuition assistance available. There is no “right” answer here – you’ll need to make a decision based on your company’s culture and values.
  • How much should I pay? The federal government has a limit of $5,250 annually per employee for tuition assistance before tax with-holdings become an issue. Generally speaking, most plan designs will pay tuition for employees earning a grade of “C” or better. Some plan designs will pay more for an “A” versus a “B” versus a “C” (100% for an A, 80% for a B, etc.). Tuition assistance programs that pay more for better grades are ideal if your company has a compensation model that is “pay for performance” or merit based since they align nicely with each other.
  • If you’re considering implementing a tuition assistance program, you’ll need to have an understanding of how many employees may use the benefit to help determine your appetite for this employee development program? These two items will help you determine how much you’d like to spend per employee annually.
    • Profession related coursework only? Many employer programs only pay for courses in a degree that are directly related to the employee’s profession though it may not be necessary to have this provision.
    • Consider the annual maximum benefit that your program allows. Does it matter which classes you pay for if you’ve capped your annual commitment to the employee? If the employee’s advancement is largely dependent on obtaining their degree, supporting any course up to your annual maximum may make sense.
  • Retention: Ensure that your program has a repayment commitment included in the program’s policy. A provision that states “employees that voluntarily or involuntarily terminate employment may be required to repay tuition assistance benefits paid in the previous one year/two-year window from the termination date”. This policy language will help you recover costs that you will no longer reap a reward from the employee gaining the degree. You’ll need to determine the appropriate repayment window for your company.

For more information, please contact the Fond du Lac Area Human Resources Association at info@fdlac.com.

Disclaimer: The Fond du Lac Area Human Resources Association (“Association”) provides the above information for general purposes only. While the Association attempts to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate, the Association is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information, or for the results obtained from the use of the information contained herein. All information is provided “as is” with no warranties, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purposes. The Association provides no guarantee or completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results to be obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the Association, the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce, or either’s officers, directors, employees, agents, or insurers be liable to any person for any decision made or action taken in reliance of the information contained herein nor for any incidental, consequential, special, or other damages resulting therefrom, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

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