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WCO HRM Regional conference

Building Customs resilience through Human Capital

Date de début 01 juin 2021
Date de fin 02 juin 2021
Lieu Online







Presentations and videos



The current pandemic situation caused by COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the organizational and working modalities of Customs administrations. Consequently, they need to become more adaptive and resilient to not only survive, but thrive.  Therefore, Customs resilience is required to respond to disruptions as well as positively adjusting their operating model in the face of challenging conditions, leveraging opportunities and delivering sustainable performance improvement.

It is worth noting that prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Customs leaders around the world focused on redesigning their organization to increase efficiency. However, the current pandemic clearly shows the need for Organizational Resilience[1]. This means that customs administrations should be able to react in a proactive manner to unexpected and challenging situation and develop the ability to recover quickly in a state of uncertainty, discontinuity, and emergency.

However, it is worth noting that to build resilience and promote sustainability, organizations are concerned and often focus their efforts on protecting their operations, processes, systems, technology, infrastructure and public relations[2]. As a result, the human side could be neglected and left out during the planning process to respond to the crisis.

The crisis has confirmed that the people within the Customs administration – the Customs officers in operational and support positions – are its greatest asset. They are the driving force behind the operations and processes. As a result, Human Resource professionals in Customs should play a vital role in growing and influencing the adaptive capabilities of their workforce. They also have to reconcile staff’s safety and security while delivering revenue collection, trade facilitation and enforcement activities to meet their governments, stakeholders and citizens’ needs and expectations.

In addition, the current health pandemic clearly showed that the organizational resilience is dependent on staff resilience and staff well-being. They are the main contributors in the continuity and recovery processes and their welfare is critical. The crisis has put an emphasis on the fact that well-being at the workplace is extremely important and more Customs Administrations have begun to recognize and appreciate the link between happy, safe and healthy staff and organizational performance and resilience.

In this regard, to build Customs resilience Customs HRMD professionals are called more than ever to shift away from inflexible and standardized approaches and to adopt a personalized approach whereby each employee is considered unique. Therefore, HRMD Department priorities should now include, among others, shaping staff behaviors through culture to build more resilient organizations, redesigning of HRM processes with a focus on digitalization to ensure that they are agile and relevant, building a humanistic-based leadership culture within the organization, upskilling and reskilling staff and improving employees experience …etc.

This webinar series is organized in partnership between WCO and WCO Vice-Chair of Americas and Caribbean region and the financial support of the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme. It will explore proven practices in building organizational resilience through human capital by equipping Customs’ leaders, managers and employees with the right strategies and resources to anticipate and adapt to the nature of crisis, act decisively without always having clear direction and certainty, and respond and recover from real or potential business disruptions.

Structure of the webinars

This webinar series will draw from the experience and lessons learned from the Customs Administrations in the Americas and Caribbean region as well as regional and international private and public organizations (Customs Administrations DGs and Customs HRM Directors, international and regional organizations, academia, private sector, and consultants).

The webinars will be delivered from 01 and 02 June 2021 using the ZOOM platform with simultaneous translation (English and Spanish) with live presentations (10 minutes) followed by live Questions and Answers session for participants.  It is expected that six webinars will be organized and delivered, dealing with different topics relating to the role of HR in building Customs organizational resilience.

Objectives of the webinars

This webinar will examine the strategies and interventions used by HR to support building Customs business resilience and drive recovery. Therefore, this webinar series serves as a platform for sharing and collecting regional and international best practices relating to the role of HR in building Customs resilience.

Participants will take away the following from the webinars:

  • An up-to-date and top tip on how Customs HRMD leaders can lead with Customs business resilience and agility;
  • Practical recommendations on how Customs HRMD Professionals can pivot and flex as needed as a result;
  • Lessons learned and experiences sharing on building organizational resilience through people;
  • A look at the future of HR and Customs operations after recovery.

[1] Organizational Resilience refers to a business's ability to adapt and evolve as the global environment is evolving, to respond to short term shocks - be they natural disasters or significant changes in market dynamics - and to shape itself to respond to long term challenges. www.organisationalresilience.gov.au

[2] Ronez M. Crisis management in the workplace and the role of the HR team, 2014.