The financial services industry in Australia is always placed as the center for the Asia-Pacific region. It is a well-developed industry through the investment and regional leadership in investment management and the areas that include infrastructure financing and structured products. The financial services industry has obtained strength from the retirement savings scheme, highly skilled workforce, and advanced business infrastructure. There is growth in investments in the financial sector. The financial services industry employs many people; however, COVID-19 has been one of the major problems in the financial services industry. COVID-19 has affected the operations in the financial services industry in Australia. The government has established regulations to control the spread of such a virus. The major questions remain, how can the financial service industry operate profitably and sustainably? What political knowledge and cultural competencies are required to operate effectively in the financial industry in Australia?
How the Financial Industry can Operate Profitably and Sustainably
One of the primary goals of a business is always to increase the wealth of stakeholders, that is, the profit motive. Also, most industries aim to achieve sustainability while they directly interact with the customers and, at the same time, deal with competition. COVID-19 has led to many negative impacts, especially on the profitability and sustainability of the finance industry. Despite the challenges, the industry has worked to ensure it is maintaining the level of profits and its operations are sustainable to the social environment.
It is known that any pandemic issue leads to the loss of jobs. Sustainability is enhanced by giving equal employment opportunities, especially when most people need them. The social world is always characterized by gender issues, especially when there is a pandemic. In such difficult times, women are a group of employees who suffer the most. The discrimination that they face within their places of work includes low wages and, at the same time, increased possibility of wage loss, limited access to healthcare, and protective items. The finance service industry should take note of such negative impacts, especially on women.
Equality can only be achieved in an industry when there are equal opportunities for everyone. Because most women are affected, the finance service industry should take various measures to control such. One of the measures taken that the financial service industry should take is to ensure that most women are being engaged remotely (Davies et al., 2020). Instead of laying them off, the finance industry should look at how women can work at home rather than being laid off (Wilson et al., 2017). The other measure is that the financial service industry should empower women who have lost their jobs in different sectors (Westoby et al., 2020). Empowering entails giving them financial resources to start business opportunities of their choice. Doing this will ensure that the financial service industry is enhancing sustainability. Sustainability goes beyond the main organizational objectives and looks at how the whole industry enhances social and economic empowerment.
COVID-19 outbreak brought in the organizations’ new ways of operation. In the finance service industry, maintaining the level of profits has been the major target. For this reason, teleworking has been the only option to make sure that the stakeholders of the finance sector in Australia and across the country are getting the required services from the company. The digital era has played a crucial role through teleworking, where the finance industry held meetings on zoom and remotely engaged employees. The finance service industry is composed of individuals who are from diverse backgrounds with different skills. In various Asian economies, a survey was done in 35 countries. It was found out that the teleworking is an opportunity available to a relatively well-educated cohort endowed with a high degree of digital literacy and good access to digital infrastructure (Islam, 2020). It, therefore, indicates that the industry will remain profitable over time.
Political knowledge and Cultural Competencies in Financial Services Industry
Politics and culture play a crucial role, especially in the success of the business. Globalization has increased political action as most industries target the local market and expand to other foreign markets to raise operations. This requires political knowledge and cultural competency for the financial service industry to operate in Australia effectively (Miletic and Langmore, 2020). For a long time, Australia had been operating as a sovereign state, which implies that it has the freedom to choose which country it can work with to enhance the global economy. It means that having political knowledge on how China and America do business will help the finance industry in Australia, as they form the two largest trading partners in the world (Kim & Wood, 2020).
Australia has therefore decided to have a mutual and open relationship with China to make it their largest trading partner (Morrison, 2020). This is a great opportunity as the political environment is conducive to business operation (Cramer & Toff, 2017). Also, it offers room for expansion to China, getting the required resources from China to carry out business, among others.
Cultural competency is another consideration required to operate in the financial services industry effectively. Various cultural competencies can immensely contribute to the success of the financial services industry (Martin, 2014). The first one is time, which is one of the variables useful in communicating culture (Australia in the Asian Century Implementation Task Force, 2012). Different people from different places there must be punctual when communicating (Wesley and Warren, 2000).
The financial service industry managers need to know the difference between monochronic time systems and polychronic time systems. In a monochronic time system, time will be experienced in a linear way where both the past, present, and future will be considered the time spent, saved, made up, or wasted (Deresky, 2017). This is mainly used in the United States. On the other hand, the polychronic time system tolerates different things and will always involve people. Identifying the most suitable one will help the finance service industry to achieve more.
To conclude, managing different situations in an industry requires a holistic approach from the management. In Australia, the financial service industry has been successful over the years. However, COVID-19 affected the operations. Two major concepts, which are sustainability and profitability, arise. The management establishes different ways in which they can use to achieve such. Similarly, political knowledge and cultural competencies have influenced the financial services industry.
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