HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Tracy Nelson, SPHR, CPTD

Government Affairs & Legal Updates

Not Every Termination Following a Discrimination Complaint Constitutes Retaliation

Professional Development and Events

Our Next Professional Development Summits

Meet, Greet, & Eat - In Person!

4 Steps to Avoid Micromanagement in Remote Work

Volunteering in GMA SHRM

Compensation & Benefits

The War for Talent

Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Navigating Adversity to Your DEI & Belonging Efforts

Volunteer Opportunity - Resume Reviews and Interview Preparation

Helpful Link from Wisconsin DWD:  - Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act 

Diversity Observances in July

GMA SHRM and Member News

Newsletter Coordinator Opportunity!

Welcome New Members!

Member Awards and Recognition

In Transition





President's Message

2022 Corporate Partners

Platinum Level

Boardman & Clark Law Firm
Delta Dental
Hausmann Group
The QTI Group
Wisconsin School of Business Center
for Professional & Executive Development


Gold Level

The Alliance
Group Health Cooperative of
  South Central Wisconsin

Silver Level

Cottingham Butler
Edvest - Wisconsin's College
  Investment Plan

Incredible Bank
KerberRose (formerly Career Momentum)

Bronze Level

Carex Consulting
Carlson Dettmann
M3 Insurance
Restaino & Associates Relocation
Reynolds Transfer
Robert Half

Thank you!


Let’s get this party started, ya’ll! 

With the advent of the GMA SHRM Board year which runs from July 1 through June 30th, I am pleased to introduce to you our new Board as we welcome them into their new roles!  Meet our 2022/2023 Board of Directors!

To those Board members who are transitioning off, I would like to thank them for their service to the Greater Madison Area Chapter – they will be remembered for their generous contributions of time and commitment to their assigned committees and our Board of Directors. Finally, to our returning Board members, many thanks for continuing to serve as human resource community facilitators and leaders to continue moving us forward! With this fantastic and talented group of professionals gathered as part of the ensemble, I remain convinced we will maintain our presence as a successful and productive chapter. 

I am so proud and honored to have been selected to serve our chapter as your President this year, helping deliver our mission of offering “Madison area HR professionals high quality professional development and networking opportunities with the goal to educate, share ideas, shape experiences, and build lasting relationships,” and sustain our vision, which is “to equip and inspire HR professionals to lead and build a better workplace and community.”

Everywhere we look, the workplace is continuing to evolve. What was a pilot two years ago has now become “old school.” Fully remote and hybrid work schedules are considered the norm rather than the exception. The Great Resignation is real – no longer an uncomfortable phenomenon. It has required us to confront and re-examine every facet of human resources - compensation, recruitment, employment relations, employee engagement, effective diversity and inclusion initiatives, and just-in-time training. More than ever, HR has become part of the organizational strategic narrative, now regularly included as part of executive discussions. Your expertise is genuinely needed – whether you are an HR “department of one,” or contributing as part of a specialized HR work team. Whatever your administrative HR structure, please know GMA SHRM is here to support you in your efforts to work with your organizations, management, and employees with networking opportunities and top-notch programming and professional development events. Please feel free to peruse our website (lots of great information), learn about our committees and possibly join one as a volunteer if you are so inclined – there are several for anyone who wants to become more involved in the Chapter.

As we move through July and approach August, soon we will hear the cicadas, which loudly pronounce back to books and school, home from summer vacations, long hours spent at the pool or the beach, and the return to our standard autumn routines.  Please get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer before you turn around and realize it’s already September and it somehow got away from you. HR has been asked to take on more at every organization – especially over the past two years. Remember to take some important self-care – you deserve some time away too.

I look forward to the year ahead. Please feel free to reach out to me if I can answer any questions for you about GMA SHRM. 

Dana Denny, IPMA-CP
GMA SHRM Chapter President


Click here to view the full GMA SHRM Board of Directors


Government Affairs & Legal Updates

Not Every Termination Following a Discrimination Complaint Constitutes Retaliation

Submitted from Brian P. Goodman, GMA SHRM Programming Member, Sarah J. Horner, and Storm B Larson, all Attorneys at Boardman & Clark LLP, a Platinum Sponsor

Brian P. Goodman

Sarah J. Horner

Storm Larson

State and federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a complaint or opposing discrimination in the workplace. A recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals provides a good example of when employers need not refrain from terminating employees to avoid retaliation lawsuits.  Sometimes, termination is necessary and legitimate, notwithstanding prior complaints of, or opposition to, discrimination in the workplace.

In Duong v. Benihana National Corporation, a chef at a Benihana restaurant made several complaints to his supervisors regarding a server who repeatedly sexually harassed another employee. After one of the incidents of alleged sexual harassment, the chef and server started arguing, and the interaction escalated to physical violence. Benihana subsequently terminated the chef for workplace violence and terminated the server for workplace violence and sexual harassment. The chef then sued Benihana for retaliation due to his prior internal complaints of sexual harassment. The court determined that because Benihana had a policy against workplace violence and had terminated the chef for clearly violating that policy (rather than terminating the chef for previously filing complaints of sexual harassment), the termination was legitimate and nonretaliatory.

Duong shows that even if an employee has previously filed complaints of discrimination with an employer, the employer may terminate that employee for a legitimate, nonretaliatory reason. Employees must use the proper channels to report a complaint so the employer can address it.  When employees take matters into their own hands and violate workplace policies, they do so at the risk of discipline and termination.


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Professional Development and Events

Our Next Professional Development Summits

  • August 16,  2022 - Professional Development Summit

Alliant Energy Center

Session 1:  Video Best Practices in Recruiting and Onboarding
Session 2:  Best Practices and Strategies for Inclusive Benefits

Program Details and Registration


  • September 20,  2022 - Professional Development Summit

Alliant Energy Center

Session 1:  Creating a Culture of Productivity: Creating Real Results
Session 2:  I Feel Safe – How to Create Thriving Cultures

Program Details and Registration

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Meet, Greet, & Eat - In Person - July 21st

Meet, Greet & Eat with your fellow GMA SHRM Members!

Share stories, interests and have some laughs over coffee or lunch!  A great way to connect, gripe and celebrate with your HR peeps that "get it"!


July 21 – Noon to 1pm
LJ’s Sports Tavern & Grill, 8 N Paterson Street, Madison

Sign up here! 

4 Steps to Avoid Micromanagement in Remote Work

Submitted by Amy Roberts, Partner/ Coach Dale Carnegie

Examples of Micromanaging

First, let’s talk about what micromanaging is not. Managers who micromanage rarely hold animosity or ill will toward the employees they manage. They do not abuse their employees with unprompted negative reviews or resort to public ridicule. Most managers who micromanage don’t even realize they’re doing it because it looks innocent, like this…

Reluctantly, a manager assigns an employee a project. A day or two later, the manager asks for a progress report. They aren’t happy with an “it’s going fine.” They need to know everything done up to that point. The employee spends additional time going over their work and the manager allows the project to continue.
The manager, not happy with the specific way the employee is working, asks to be CC’d on all future communications involving the project. When a decision needs to be made, the manager steps in and insists on being the one to make it. When the project is completed, the manager reviews the work and corrects the mistakes without sharing their changes or solutions with the employee.

The above scenario demonstrates some examples of micromanaging. Next we’ll identify why this practice  negatively affects employee motivation and engagement.

Is Micromanaging a Problem?

Yes; micromanaging in the workplace is definitely problematic in the way it makes employees feel and how it impacts their performance. Micromanaging also means that the leader or manager is taking on more than their normal work and that can quickly lead to overwhelm, frustration, and burnout. This holds true whether someone is working onsite or remotely.

We’ve known micromanaging is a problem since 1998 when Harry Chambers published My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide. A study cited in the text found the following results among workers and managers reporting on micromanagement:

  • Among non-managers:

    • 67% indicated they have been previously micromanaged with 37% responding they are currently micromanaged.

  • Among managers:

    • 71% of managers said they had previously been micromanaged and 27% indicated they were currently being micromanaged.

Remote work has only exacerbated the micromanaging problem. The professional network Blind asked 2300 employees whether they have been micromanaged more or less since the pandemic—42% of employees said more. In a study from Track Time 24, findings reported that almost half (48%) of employees believe trust from management has declined and 20% of employees cite micromanagement as the most stressful aspect of working from home. In a 2021 survey of 3000 workers, GoodHire reported that micromanaging was tied for first in being the trait cited as making the worst managers.  Micromanaging remote workers has negative effects and is definitely a problem.

The Negative Effects of Micromanaging

Micromanaging is detrimental to the employee, the manager, the company, and clients and customers. Employees feel less empowered and their confidence in their own abilities falls which can lead to decreased employee engagement. Managers become burnt out. The company deals with higher turnover. (Forbes cites that 69% of employees considered changing jobs due to micromanagement and 36% actually changed jobs).  The end result might be that clients become dissatisfied with your service.

Why Do Managers Micromanage?

Have you said or thought any of the following?

  • I just like being in the loop.

  • I’ve been here longer so I know how to do it better.

  • I wish I could trust them to do it right.

  • I’m afraid they’ll get it wrong and tank the project.

  • I’d rather not hand off this project, but it looks like I have to.

Thinking along these lines can indicate that a manager micromanages or is on the verge of doing so. But in many cases, it may not be the manager’s leadership style that results in micromanagement. Broader organizational processes and structures must be analyzed to see if the idea of micromanagement is part of the culture and simply labeled as “QR” or “checks and balances.”

How to Avoid Micromanaging Employees

  1. Increase Trust in Employees

Without seeing them diligently working at their computer just a few desks over, it can be difficult for managers to trust that their reports are putting in enough effort at home. By increasing general trust in employees, managers will be less tempted to perform copious oversights.

  1. Empower Employees

A manager can’t truly show trust in their employees if the manager never lets them make decisions. Empowering employees to make decisions for projects will increase their engagement at work and lead to a greater sense of purpose. Employees with high intrinsic motivation will work harder and managers will not feel the need to micromanage them.

  1. Increase Empathy

When a manager steps into an employee’s shoes, they will better understand how and why that person works the way they do. They will better recognize that we are all unique with different thought processes and experiences that drive our actions. Managers with high empathy will micromanage less.

  1. Personal and Professional Development

When it comes to learning how to stop micromanaging, personal and professional development courses can help. Whether it’s on-the-job hard skills training or a non-work program to increase soft skills, these courses can help both employees and managers do their jobs better and with more confidence (and less micromanaging).
Cutting down on micromanaging in an organization takes effort and training. Discover the Dale Carnegie Course and our Leadership Courses for Managers today.

We offer coaching on-site or virtual. Give me a call to talk further.

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Volunteering in GMA SHRM

Submitted by Carolyn Kuzuhara, State of Wisconsin HR Specialist, GMA SHRM Member, named GMA SHRM’s Volunteer of the Year

I have been a member of GMA SHRM for 2 years and originally began volunteering in the Volunteer Engagement committee to assist with the Revealed Events. Since then I have also joined the Social Media committee and gotten to work closely with the Board members to put together the newsletter. I wanted to join GMA SHRM because I was new to Human Resources and wanted to be able to learn and grow more in this field, and also network and build connections and relationships with other Human Resource professionals.

Throughout my time in GMA SHRM I have met so many inspiring HR professionals and gotten to learn new HR information though all the various events, legal updates, and conferences. I enjoy being a volunteer so I can get to know others better and am always wanting to jump into new roles to help give myself new experiences and opportunities that I can use in my career. Volunteering has given me experience organizing and hosting events, putting together monthly newsletters, enhancing my creativity skills, and speaking in front of larger groups. Being a GMA SHRM volunteer has been beneficial in my career and social life!


Compensation & Benefits

The War for Talent

Submitted by Andrew Buss, M3 Employee Benefits Account Executive, GMA SHRM Member

The War for Talent has never been fiercer than it is today. As businesses are coming out of the pandemic, employers continue to feel the effects of the pandemic through their employee populations, work environment, and health care costs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 4.5% at the end of 2021 with countless job openings that hadn’t been filled. As we come into the second half of 2022 the unemployment rate has dropped to roughly 3.6% which is leading employers to need to become more competitive in their efforts to attract new employees and retain existing talent. The quest to find skilled workers is becoming increasingly competitive with job seekers holding out for better jobs and more meaningful benefits. According to a recent SHRM survey, “36% of employees are willing to change jobs for better benefits.”

Below are a few different strategies that M3 clients are using to boost employee retention:

  • Incentivize Loyalty
  • Provide Growth Opportunities
  • Prioritize Culture and Connection
  • Embrace Flexibility

Employers will need to be creative moving forward to continue to attract new employees while working to retain their current staff and ensure that their health care costs remain stable. Below are a few of the different mechanisms M3 is using to help employers contain their health care costs:

  • Data Analytics and Healthcare Funding Sources
  • Creative Non-Insurance Benefits
  • Benefit Plan Design and Competitive Benchmarking
  • Building a wellbeing program that addresses the four pillars (Physical, Emotional, Financial, Social)

I would be happy to connect and discuss the War on Talent.

Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Navigating Adversity to Your DEI & Belonging Efforts

Submitted by Nadine Mobley, Manager, Quality Assurance & Workforce Management and GMA SHRM Diversity Committee Member

Being an ally is important. It's more than just saying you are okay with LGBTQ. It is being supportive of our legal rights, uplifting LGBTQ voices, and not being fearful to socialize your allyship. Sometimes we experience pushback, where people are in denial "This is not a problem," disengaged "This is not MY problem," derailed "What about other problems?"
Some signs of denial include comments like "I don't see color. I am colorblind." or "LGBTQ Allyship didn't exist in our organization until you brought it into conversations." Some signs of disengagement are "I didn't want to say the wrong thing, so I didn't respond." or "We're too busy doing our work, we shouldn't be spending time on this." Some signs of derailing are "Our focus should be on merit and competencies, not on race and gender" or "I don't feel included either, but there’ s no ERG I can join to voice my concerns."
How would you respond to these incidences of denial, derailment and disengagement?

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Volunteer Opportunity - Resume Reviews and Interview Preparation

DWD/Job Service is hosting a job fair in Madison on August 24, 2022 from 1pm to 4pm. The job fair will be held at Demetral Park, 506 N 7th Street, Madison. The event will be outdoors, however, we have reserved DWD’s mobile career lab.

There are computers and space inside the mobile lab to work with job seekers. We are looking for volunteers to assist with resume reviews and interview preparation. If you have an hour or so to spare, we would love to have you join us. Please email Jennifer.brikowski@dwd.wisconsin.gov to sign up or learn more.

Monthly Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development - Helpful Links

Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act




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Diversity Observances in July

Submitted by Mary Vesely, Employee Engagement & Inclusion Manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and GMA SHRM Director of Diversity

 Let's have fun, celebrate diversity, learn about each other, and use these observances as themes to engage your team!

  • International Non-Binary People’s Day: July 14
  • National Parent's Day: July 24
  • Disability Independence Day: July 26

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DEI Highlights

We’d like to feature member stories to highlight during special observances in upcoming newsletters. If you’d like to share your story on why a diverse observance is important to you, please email Mary Vesely.


Recruitment Guide: Identifying & Interrupting Bias in Hiring

Have you visited our DEI Resources Page?  Stay tuned for semi-annual updates on our downloadable document. We welcome any ideas/suggestions.

Interested in joining or sharing suggestions for our committee? Contact Mary Vesely, Director of the Diversity Committee at mary.vesely@fairwaymc.com.

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GMA SHRM and Member News

Newsletter Coordinator Opportunity!

Our committee is looking for a new Newsletter Coordinator! This role coordinates with board members and our administrative team to collate articles into one Word document, then send it to volunteers to review and edit. Our administrative team does the hard work of making it look great, getting online, and sending it out to our members. This very important role is a great way to get involved with GMA SHRM, meet the board members, and give back to the HR community, with a low time commitment.

If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at sarah.hart@infosecinstitute.com.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in May 2022!
Shawyn Anderson   Journey Mental Health Center
Kathryn Benson SHRM-CP State of Wisconsin
Andrew Buss   M3 Insurance
Karin Cretney   KL Engineering, Inc.
Paige Drymalski   Paige Drymalski
Tom Fox   Connect Search, LLC
Amanda Fuhrman SHRM-CP Wisconsin Reinsurance Corporation
Dawna Furseth   Reach Dane
Amanda Griffoul aPHR Precision Plus
Christia Hunt PHR, SHRM-CP State Bank of Cross Plains
Rosalyn Johnson   Quartz Health Solutions
Loren Kuzuhara   University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sarjoo Patel   Flow
Amy Roberts   Norman and Associates- Dale Carnegie Training
Kristin Sawyer   CUNA
Pranav Shah   WEA Member Benefits
Amanda Tetzlaff   Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp
Beth Watson SHRM-CP IKI Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Lisa Woerpel   IncredibleBank
Alison Wood   EngagedMD
Grace Xiao   Connect Search LLC
Elise Zielicke   Hausmann Group


Member Awards and Recognition

Have you recently earned a professional achievement award? If so, we want to hear about it. 
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!  

In Transition

If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seeking new positions or career paths, write us a brief description of your skill set, areas of expertise, what you’re looking for, etc. Send us an e-mail. We’ll publish your information 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 .
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