Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in Customs

VCN – That was the message sent by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to customs authorities of member states and all Customs officers who have been and will be doing Customs on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of International Customs Day (26/1/1952-26/1/2023).

Accordingly, the message would focus on the efforts of Customs authorities of member states in supporting future Customs officers, encouraging sharing knowledge and raising awareness of the global customs community with the theme: "Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in Customs". This theme is about placing human capital, especially the next generation, at the heart of the transformation of Customs.

WCO believed that the next generation was young Customs officers who were always flexible, creative, and easy to adapt to new technologies and styles. However, they need to acquire experience and competence in the professional field and specific areas of the agency where they work. Meanwhile, traditional customs authorities did not have the processes and methodologies to manage knowledge and ensure it was transmitted.

Customs officers of Hoa Khanh – Lien Chieu Industrial Park Customs Branch (Da Nang Customs Department) instructed enterprise to carry out customs procedures. Photo: N.Linh
Customs officers of Hoa Khanh – Lien Chieu Industrial Park Customs Branch (Da Nang Customs Department) instructed enterprise to carry out customs procedures. Photo: N.Linh

"The next generation is ambitious, hoping to improve the world and contribute to environmental protection, social stability and integrity. But, at the same time, they need to adapt to working environments in state agencies where generations have not had a chance to understand each other. Therefore, to attract and retain talent, Customs authorities need to create motivation and protect this generation through knowledge management policies", the WCO said.

According to WCO, regarding organisational culture and knowledge management, organisational culture is the recognition, understanding, code of conduct, and core values shared among individuals in an organisation. New employees must learn and adapt to the organisational culture to contribute to the common goal. However, did organisations open to helping the next generation adapt to their organisational culture? In this context, Customs authorities should focus on building an organisational culture that supports knowledge sharing to achieve common goals. In other words, Customs authorities need to create conditions for their staff to connect, share and assert themselves through various forms of practice.

In addition, WCO encouraged Customs officers to make sense of professional pride. WCO believed that customs has a long history of contributing to national development, facilitating economic relations between countries and protecting citizens from problems of illegal trade, thereby bringing pride to customs officers. By creating a better workspace, supporting their staff and establishing a culture of knowledge sharing, Customs authorities need to build trust within businesses, between government agencies and international organisations.

WCO also stressed that an organisation's reputation depends largely on its employees. Therefore, staffs need to understand their role and contribution and the importance of their work and connection with the organisation's vision and mission.

WCO created an environment for Customs authorities to share knowledge and turn it into effective standards and best practices. WCO divisions set standards and share customs expertise and experience through global networks. Accordingly, the WCO has just developed the WCO's data strategy to provide members with quality and harmonised data and statistics. Besides that, WCO built training platforms such as CliCK online training platform and the customs and trade academy. WCO also provided opportunities for members to raise awareness through participation in conferences, seminars and training activities.

In addition, WCO continuously promoted anti-corruption activities and enhanced customs integrity, contributing to customs reform and modernisation.

By Nụ Bùi/Thanh Thuy

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