HRM Issues Relevant To Commonwealth Bank Of Australia Assessment Answer

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Question :

You are a HR Manager who is employed at a major bank in Australia. You are asked to write a report to the Chief Executive Officer of your organisation outlining the employment relations and human resource management issues that will impact on the recruitment of managers from other countries to work in the banking industry in Australia in 2019. (40 marks)

Word Length: 2000-2500 words

Referencing Style----Relevant and accurate literature; AT LEAST 5 academic sources such as textbooks and peer-reviewed journals.

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Answer :

International Human Resource Management


International Human Resource Management is a broader concept of managing people within the international level of in order to maintain competitive advantage at national as well as at international level. In other words, the human resource management of Australian banking industries is facing significant challenges in terms of employee relations and issues related to job satisfaction and pay scales. The current assignment is based on Human resource management issues relevant to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 2019 while recruiting managers from other countries. 

Identification of Employment Relations and Human resource management issues at Commonwealth Bank of Australia---- 

Employment relations at workplaces are changing eventually, as there is a rise in globalisation and technological advancement in the employee recruitment process. In fact, the employment relations in industrial sectors can be sustained by an ethical implementation of suitable human resource strategies (Bratton & Gold, 2017). In accordance with this context, it can be assured that most of the typical industrial sectors in Australia face complexities and employment relations due to insufficiency in practising ethical code of conduct and gap between all the levels of management. Considering this major issue with the employment relations at some of the banking industries are facing the challenges of workplace relations while recruiting managers from other countries in the banking sectors of Australia. In the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, there has been the systematic practice of Fair Work Act since it has been constituted. However, there are increased number of issues in the said Bank related to fulfilling the target of making insurance sale for the staffs that are identified in an online article, (Letts, 2017). Hence, it determines the fact that if there are specific pressures in meeting the target of insurance sales, then the majority of executives might leave the job in between the peak seasons easily.

On the other hand, employment relations within an organization changes if there is a significant change in the new strategic theory of practices as well (Giorgi et al., 2017). Considering this relevant context, it can be recognized that if an organisation fails to satisfy the expectations of staffs through proper pay scales or wages, then it can evolve conflicts in between the HRM senior officials and the junior staffs as well. In compliance with the Equal Pay Act and Gender Pay Act, it strictly forbids employers to pay low remuneration as well as labour wages below standard scales. However, it has been identified from the recent complaints that most of the part-time workers in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia were women at the peak seasons (Hilton, 2017). This kind of issues is increasing the burden of HR Managers in the banking industries of Australia in terms of breaching the gaps between the faith or the staffs and the higher authority.  

Apart from the above employment relations and HRM issues observed in the Bank, there can be other multiple issues that can turn employment relation from positive to the negative direction. The organisation culture profoundly impacts employee behaviour and customs that diminishes the quality of services in the workplace environment (Boxall, Bainbridge & Frenkel, 2018). According to this context, it can be perceived that depending on the top-level management of the large organisation, pre-established policies and strategic theory of human resource management need to be consistently monitored and examined for maintaining standard quality performance. Based on the understanding of the statement, Commonwealth Bank of Australia identified with some critical issues of subculture influencing on the eventual degradation of monetary decline. Additionally, it is being accused by the financial regulatory agency AUSTRAC to the Board of Directors of the Bank to focus on enhancing the culture of the work environment that can be effective in future recruitment of new staffs from outside countries (Hyland, 2017). Hence, from the following identification of issues, it is evident that the sustainability of international human resource management can be a challenging responsibility by the HR Managers while recruiting staffs from other countries to Australia.

Impact on the recruitment of managers in Commonwealth Bank of Australia from other countries in 2019-----

Considering the above issues related to the employment relations and human resource management in the banking industries of Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been recognized with some significant issues on the limelight and are still on the verge of investigation. Hence, these kinds of problems have evolved some future challenges and barriers that would impact upon the recruitment of managers from other countries below:- 

Impact of diversity of culture: Diversity of religion is one of the fundamental HRM issues that create a hindrance at the workplace of any kind. Strategic human resource management helps in building a unified place in the work environment (Bratton & Gold, 2017).  This context can be understood that if there can be inadequate management expertise in the process of selection of staff, then it would decline the work culture.  For example, if managers are recruited from other countries like Europe, then the HR Manager of the Bank would have to abide by the regulation of Fair Work Act, 2009 under the Australian Government that strictly prohibits any organisation to hire based on discrimination or biases to the employment system (“Australia's National Workplace Relations System”, 2019). However, despite that the newly joined managers would face challenges of adjustment with the current job descriptions and terms and conditions at CBA, as the culture and background of the individual will be different from Australians. Besides, the new manager would also feel discriminated in the work environment due to some odd accusations behind the banking management system.

Decreased rate of productivity: Productivity at the workplace is deeply connected with the excellent relationship with the junior management staff with the middle and top-level management of an organisation as well. The implication of the appropriate approach of HRM can act as a motivational force in improving the productivity of an employee at an organisation (Latukha, Lisina & Panibratov, 2019). According to this context, it can be understood that poor productivity usually arises due to the inadequate capacity of recognizing the issues of new employee or existing staff as well in the system. The so-called issue of increasing pressure sales targets identified in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, it can be assumed that if staffs from countries like UK, Africa and America or from other regions would come across similar kind of problems after recruitment. For example, if the manager is from Europe, then the individual can either be not well accustomed to working under such pressure before, then he/she would not be able to meet the expectations of the Bank here, in Australia. As a result, there can be turned down in sales further.

The dissatisfaction of Employees due to low pay scales: Payroll issue is a significant issue in the employees throughout the employment period in any kind of industry. The payroll commission driven by the human resource manager of an organisation leads to the reestablishment of trust and faith in between an employee and an employer (Wan, 2019). This can be depicting the fact that if the HR manager of an organisation maintains transparency in fixing the remuneration, as per organisational policy under Government regulation, then it becomes effective in finding a right candidate for the desired post. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) would be facing tremendous impact in such an area of recruiting the staff from other countries. For instance, if an employee is being hired from America, then it might be a big challenge if the employee finds any negligence in terms of pay scale system in the Bank itself.  

Issue of Employee training and development: Training and development is the major part of enhancing an employee to a standard level. The strategic human resource management approach demands the right process of training and development program that builds up skills and competencies of an employee for future growth and success (Amarakoon, Weerawardena & Verreynne, 2018). The stated context reiterates the incidents of the issue observed in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in case of meeting the insurance sales target, studied from an online source, (Letts, 2017). In view of this issue of the Bank, for instance, suppose a new manager is recruited from Africa, it may not be assumed before that African candidate coming for working in a bank like Commonwealth Bank of Australia here, will be efficient enough to operate all kinds of sales such as Credit Cards, Insurance, different types of Loans and so on. Therefore, in that case, the HR Manager of the bank will need to conduct meeting with the senior management team for arranging training and development of such kind of staff for understanding the process of sales in compliance with the ethical code of conduct. However, it would impact on the cost of management in the Bank. 

Communication Barrier among employees: Communication and language among the employees recruited from numerous countries impact in recognizing the notion and concept appropriately. Effective communication between different individuals from diversified culture can be mitigated through productive and participative interaction and employee engagement within an organisation (Boxall, Bainbridge & Frenkel, 2018). In compliance with the context, the communication issue would have a significant impact on the employment relation of CBA. For instance, if managers are recruited from Middle-East countries like Qatar, then it would be a considerable challenge for the staff to follow the instructions easily in every situation, as Qatar belongs to Islamic culture. Therefore, the existing staff working at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia might not accept the way of approach and style of leading the team members here. Further, it can contradict with senior management as well. 

Reduced Time management Capacity- Managing time and in dealing with the customers of any organisation is the most critical issue. The proper conduct of managing time and deliver a product and service with end-to-end solution method is referred to as time management capacity (Wan, 2019). The statement determines that if an employee is not capable of estimating time in the banking sector especially, which consists of a wide range of challenges at workplace target, it would be marked as poor performance and inability to manage time. For instance, if a manager is hired from the UK having less efficiency in controlling time while attending customers, such candidate might not be able to meet the daily target of sales in CBA. As a result, this kind of reduced time management capacity would impact on the low productivity and sales decline in future. Such type of incidents might give intend to force managers to instruct in a wrong way usually to achieve the daily target through unethical practices of paying commissions to the customers that would harm the reputation of the Bank once again. 

Unethical Behaviour and Practices: Ethics and corporate behaviour and organisational culture reflect vision and goal that could be achieved by a group of team members of executives. In other words, an ethical code of conduct is a systematic direction following which an organisation gain values in front of society and customers (Chun, 2019). Relevant to this context here, the idea perceived that ethical behaviour and practices in an employee come out generally in the way of manners and attitudes.  The act of money laundering with some of the customers in selling insurance highlighted in the online article, (Letts, 2017) and the law of discrimination of women employees from the service disclosed in the report, (Hilton, 2017) demonstrates the fact that such type of corporate misconduct can last as a lifelong wrong impression on the reputation of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. This kind of activities observed in the Bank would impact in future recruitment of managers in future. Suppose, if a new manager is going to be hired from America, then the HR manager of the CBA need to be conscious about the right selecting procedure through assessments and ability tests. In recruiting a candidate and judging the behaviour and intention of the candidate from a country like America would be the cost-effective approach through the online procedure for the Bank in future, as bank comes under service sector that demands faithfulness and trust of the employees throughout in securing the accounts of the customers.

However, depending on the identification of employment relations and issues of HRM in the administration of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, it can be ensured that there would be multiple challenges and barriers in the recruitment process of managers from different countries that might not be mitigated immediately by the guidelines or strategic implementation of the senior management. Hence, it would ultimately depend on the situation and the plan of action that would be suggested by the senior management officials of the Bank itself.


  • It can be recommended for Commonwealth Bank of Australia to make effective team and assign expertise Operations managers to lead their respective teams in accurately execution of various segments under the ethical code of conduct.
  • The bank can be suggested to adapt flexible and favourable work environment that can encourage and accept applicants from different cultural backgrounds and practice unified culture without any discrimination.
  • Further, it can also be suggested to management of the Bank to follow strategic leadership approach and management style that can motivate the staffs towards progressive development.


The analysis of the overall problems of employment relations and human resource management issues identified and discussed in the above contexts, relevant to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, makes an acknowledgement and future predictions that individual impact might create hindrance in the path of success. However, it would be beneficial for the Bank’s higher authority to take the right decision and preventive measures in advance for reducing the risks in the application of sustainable international human resource management.