Q&A with Gül Güven, PhD. – Global Compliance Training Program Leader

Q&A with Gül Güven, PhD

Gül Güven has been working with GE in various roles in compliance for over a decade.
(www.linkedin.com/in/gulguven) In her current role as Global Compliance Training Program Leader, Gül works with the Global Compliance Training Center of Excellence, GE Corporate policyowners, the chief compliance officers for each business and region and their compliance training focal points to develop and implement best-in-class GE Compliance training and communications.

Prior to her current role, Gül studied and worked in Paris and Istanbul, where she led various initiatives on streamlining global processes, due diligence of third parties, design and delivery of compliance training, and internal investigations in Europe, Russia CIS, Middle East and Africa.Gül earned her PhD in Business Ethics from SKEMA Business School in France, with a speciality in Work-Related Stress and Ethical Work Climates. She also holds an MS in Business Economics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Belgium, MA in Strategy, Project and Program Management from École Supérieure de Commerce de Lille – France and a BA in International Management from Vesalius College – Belgium.

Q1. In your opinion, what makes an effective compliance training program?

Content is king. The starting point when creating any training must be to “respect the learner.” This is shown by creating training that is to the point, relevant, and engaging – respecting the learner’s time and meeting learning objectives.

What is especially important for compliance training is for the enterprise learning plan to be in tune with the company’s risks. Any compliance training plan must also be audit-ready.

Q2. On average, how much time every year do your staff spend on mandatory training, and is that time protected?

We have more than 250,000 employees across multiple businesses and mandatory training seat time can differ based on an employee’s risk profile and local law requirements. In general, upon joining GE, all salaried employees receive The Spirit & The Letter Basic Training. This online training includes an introduction to all policy areas, as well as content on the importance of raising integrity concerns through GE’s Open Reporting channels.   GE businesses target selected groups to receive additional advanced training on certain risk areas. These can be live or virtual. Finally, GE employees, upon hire and in periodic campaigns, acknowledge that they have read and understood The Spirit & The Letter guide, including a commitment to speak up if they encounter any situation that may be an integrity concern.

Q3. How important is it to customize your training, and what sort of customization do you do?

The new hire compliance course that was created in collaboration with Interactive Services can serve as a recent example.

It covers the basics across The Spirit & The Letter policy areas, and at the same time, features business-specific content. For example, if I am a newly hired GE Healthcare employee, in addition to the standard course, I will also see content on “Interacting with Healthcare Professionals.” If I am a GE Aviation employee, that same section will not show up on my new hire course, even though, technically, both learners are taking the same course.

This flexibility simplifies the logistics overall and creates customized training without creating a separate course for every audience, allowing simpler assignments, translations, and completion follow-ups in the back end.

We also customize the scenarios and questions in the course according to input from our own policy experts in light of internal trends and observations.  

Q4. What communications strategy do you use to help launch mandatory training efforts?

For some courses, the learner is notified via an informative email. For others, including the same information on the first page of the course itself can work equally well.

If a mandatory training is face-to-face, a note from the business or region leader encouraging participation is always helpful.

Q5. What’s the biggest challenge you face every year when it comes to compliance training?

An everlasting challenge is to measure the effectiveness of compliance training. Unlike a sales training, which can perhaps be measured against sales performance immediately, the impact of compliance training is more long-term and tougher to measure

Q6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever got on putting together your compliance training program?

Learners love to learn from real cases. Our “real story” videos that we incorporate into various training courses and communications have been very successful. If the right stories are selected, they will definitely stick with the learner. We may not remember a list of rules, but people remember the story upon facing a similar situation.

Q7. What are your training pet hates?

It’s important to be mindful of “scope creep” when creating compliance trainings. Adding on subtopics “just in case” may pollute the content. We can only remember so much after one course. Repetition, follow-up communications, and “just in time” training are better options for retention.

Q8. What’s been your biggest success and why?

Leveraging different types of technology has proved to be fruitful for our training initiatives. We are using video animation software to create videos in-house. We are increasingly creating infographics that summarize an entire topic on one page, with more graphics and less text. Finally, we use polling technology in both face-to-face and virtual sessions to maximize interactivity with participants.

Q9. What innovations are you seeing in current training, and do you think there is anything missing currently?

I imagine that in the near future, thanks to artificial intelligence, each learner will receive “just in time” content that is applicable to him or her. For example, if an employee books a plane ticket to Brazil, our HR system data shows he belongs to the sales function, and our learning system data shows that he did his last training on interacting with government officials a while ago. The various systems will connect, and the employee will receive a short communication about what local rules and regulations to remember when interacting with customers in Brazil. In GE, we are already experimenting with “just in time” training.

Q10. If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking of training their employees, what would it be?

Any training program should include elements to encourage leadership involvement. Employees are focused on the tone at the top and are also strongly influenced by how their managers talk about the company’s compliance culture and expectations. In GE, many of our businesses lead periodic “Integrity Matters” campaigns where every people leader leads an open dialogue with his or her team to explore relevant compliance topics.

If you are interested in our compliance training or other learning solutions, please contact Becky Murphy (bmurphy@interactiveservices.com), Client Engagement Manager, Interactive Services.

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