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Ernst & Young (EY) company is a multinational services network with headquarter offices in England. It is among the biggest in its line of business worldwide. Along with KPMG, Deloitte as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers, it is regarded among the Big Four accounting organizations. The firm mainly offers assurance, including fiscal audit, tax, advisory and consulting services to its customers. Similar to several other top firms, EY has grown into markets that are adjacent to accounting, for example, operations, strategy, human resource, financial services consultation, and technology.

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Additionally, it operates as a network of companies that are structured as independent. Upto now, it can be said that the organization has employed more than three hundred thousand people in about one hundred and fifty nations including Kuwait. In recent years, statistics suggest that there is a high turnover rate in the country when considering Ernst & Young’s branch there. There are many factors that can be attributed to the occurrence including the COVID-19 pandemic that greatly affected the labor market. This project is aimed to investigate the issue by looking at various possible causes including weather, motivation, stress, diversity, local Arab culture and the Kuwaiti partners in charge of the branch.


As mentioned earlier, this is an investigation that seeks to help discover the main factors that are contributing to the high turnover rate in Ernst & Young company in Kuwait. By doing that, the project is then, able to offer suggestions or recommendations on how to solve the issue. For such a task, it is important to use proper data collection techniques. For instance, in this case, for primary data, interview method was used whereas for secondary data, literature review was the choice. In addition to the two mechanisms, questionnaire is the other tool that was considered to offer help to achieve the objectives of this work by obtaining the needed information. At least three senior management officials and five employees were selected for the interview. After this process was completed, a questionnaire was emailed to as many as one hundred individuals, consisting of both current and former employees. Their responses were collected in the same manner and then, literature review was conducted. After analysis of results, it was confirmed that there are possible causes of this phenomenon including weather, motivation, stress, diversity, local Arab culture and the Kuwaiti partners in charge of the branch.

Possible Causes

An employee who works more hours than average experiences physical, mental as well as social effects, especially if they are asked to meet strict and stressful deadlines. The International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization approximated that more than seven hundred thousand people succumbed to stroke or heart conditions (Çelik, 2018). The main reason for this is working more than fifty-five hours on a weekly basis (Çelik, 2018). Major implications consist of inadequate time for personal life, stress, and medical risks. When one examines the situation and identifies it as a hindrance towards good quality of life, they tend to lose motivation and consider leaving and search for a better job. According to the responses from the questionnaires handed to both former and current employees, it is obvious that the managers at Ernst & Young in Kuwait have had individuals working for long hours. In addition to that, there are strict deadlines that they must meet which increases their stressful levels and lead to loss of motivation, which in turn, causes a high turnover rate as witnessed.


The literature review conducted revealed that less women than men are employed in the company. The difference is not close and has happened for a long time dating back to a few years ago (Alqubati et al., 2019). Kuwait is a nation in the Middle East and the culture and traditions enable the firms in that region to view females differently (Alqubati et al., 2019). During the hiring process, there are no preset number of positions for women which makes it harder for them to qualify. Additionally, for those who succeed in being employed, less are recommended for managerial roles. This makes the females feel as if they are not respected or embraced by the company and thus, less retention rate.

Diversity aids in combating various obstacles marginalized groups experience in the work environment. A company with an inclusive culture always has a great retention rate and low turnover rate. Additionally, it becomes easier for them to recruit new employees available in the job market (Belete, 2018). Upon interviewing the senior management officials, it was discovered that less women are granted major roles since the Arab culture dictates that the man is the leader and the woman, a follower.


Kuwait being situated in the desert geographical area experiences weather characterized by its short warm winter as well as hot long summer. The relative humidity rises and temperature at times reaches fifty degrees (Belete, 2018). According to majority of the responses obtained from the respondents who participated in the questionnaire, it is suggested that some of the employees leave to work in other places. Individuals especially those that are not locals or nationals in the Middle East nations, are greatly impacted by the heat.

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For instance, foreigners from Europe find it difficult to work past six months. It is important to remember that in its attempts to grow and acquire larger market share, experts are sent to various branches. Most of the experts are Europeans who are used to cold weather majority of the time. Some of them have suffered heat whereby their bodies were unable to regulate temperature. To protect themselves from health issues such as that one, they choose to leave the country and search for a job elsewhere. Further review of the literature on the topic shows that for the foreign employees to remain, a company in such a climatic region needs to have a health care team that serves that purpose.

Local Arab Culture

The culture in a country has the capability to affect how people view certain issues or topics, for instance, diversity in the workplace environment. Being headquartered in England, Ernst & Young is a company whose top management wants to embrace inclusivity despite allowing different branches to operate as separate. In Kuwait, which is a Muslim nation, men are believed to be leaders and women followers. Currently, it has already been established that having a diverse workforce results in better productivity and innovation (Neck et al., 2020). Thus, many companies are setting and implementing policies that aim to achieve at every level at the organizations.

More women are allowed to undertake more managerial roles in the work settings which has caused many men in the organization to choose to leave. For them, it is against their cultural values or norm to be led by a woman regardless of their experience and expertise (Neck et al., 2020). Some of the respondents who participated in the questionnaire claimed that there is knowledge of the firms offering more positions for females. It has been noted that people are asked to refuse to apply for advertised jobs from them since they are targeting to ruin the culture of the people.

Kuwaiti Partners in Charge

When looking at the cultural values of the people in Kuwait and its impact on employee turnover rate, it was discovered that some of the leaders continue to empower male employees against female supervisors. While using the idea of maintaining their culture, they are influencing men in the company to not adhere to instructions of the female managers. To them, the latter only exist to ensure that the organization is viewed as one that allows diversity (Neck et al., 2020). This kind of behavior is present in other firms based in the Middle East and has affected them greatly. Since Ernst & Young is headquartered in England, some Europeans opt to work for its various branches including the one in Kuwait.

However, when they experience such behaviors from their leaders, that is, managers, they tend to leave since it is different from the culture to which they are accustomed. Apart from views on diversity, literature review aided in understanding that some of the officials in the senior management of the Kuwait branch are corrupt (Neck et al., 2020). Instead of employing and promoting employees fairly based on their performance and expertise, individuals are given chances according to who they are related to at the firm. This makes others feel unappreciated and thus, opt to leave the organization.

Motivational Theories

Knowing what motivates individuals is basic to everyone who aspires to handle management roles. Among the well-known writers regarding motivation is Herzberg (Juariyah & Saktian, 2018). His ideologies are helpful to comprehension of what inspires employees (Juariyah & Saktian, 2018). This is especially applicable as the initial study was not conducted in the factory but offices of accountants and engineers. He based the theory on the notion that motivation can be dichotomized into hygiene as well as motivation factors which leads to the term two-factor. The two needs aim to avoid discomfort, unpleasantness and personal development. Motivators are described as the elements directly related to the satisfaction obtained from a job (Juariyah & Saktian, 2018). For example, a sense of accomplishment, level of responsibility, and recognition by management and peers. The EY leadership in Kuwait can use this concept by ensuring that workers are satisfied.

Equity Theory

The equity theory refers to the concept of motivation that implies that motivation of an employee at work is greatly driven by the fairness. They create a psychological ledger of the inputs as well as outcomes of their work and then utilize the former to compare and contrast the ratio of inputs and outputs. On the one hand, effort, skills, performance, experience and education are some of the inputs (Johnson et al., 2018). On the other hand, outcomes can include benefits, promotions and pay (Johnson et al., 2018). If one feels that their ratio is not equitable when checking that of colleagues, their motivation is lost. This theory can be used in the case of Ernst & Young branch in Kuwait to help in retaining more employees. The issue of equity can as well be something that is driven by lack of diversity. Women in the firm gain less than their male counterparts which might lead them to being dissatisfied. Eliminating inequality in areas such as salaries and promotion would be key to instilling inspiration.

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McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory

The McClelland’s human motivation concepts dictates that all people have one of three primary driving motivators, that is, need for affiliation, accomplishment or power. These are not inherent and are developed through life experiences as well as culture. Achievers embrace solving problems and achieve objectives (Kollmann et al., 2020). Those with a strong desire for belongingness do not appreciate taking risks, and they value associations above all. Others with a great power motivator enjoy controlling other people and be the supervisors. The company can use and apply this information to praise, lead, and inspire the workforce more effective and better structure their roles.


This project has been able to investigate the issue by looking at various possible causes including weather, motivation, stress, diversity, local Arab culture and the Kuwaiti partners in charge of the branch. By using the interview method, primary data was obtained and the literature review enabled identification of secondary data. In addition to the two, questionnaire was as well utilized to help achieve the objectives by obtaining the needed information. The paper has shown that hot weather, long working hours and strict deadlines which lead to lack of motivation and causes stress, discrimination of women are possible causes of the high turnover rate. Additionally, the issue of nepotism, among Kuwaiti partners in charge of the company’s branch in Kuwait, is another that factor that continues to discourage employees from continuing to work for the Ernst & Young.


Alqubati, H., Dixon, C., & Hossan, C. (2019). Influence of job dissatisfaction on recent raise of employee turnover intention in UAE banks: A mixed-methods approach. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 26(2), 155-176. Web.

Belete, A. K. (2018). Turnover intention influencing factors of employees: An empirical work review. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management, 7(3), 1-7. Web.

Çelik, M. (2018). The effect of psychological capital level of employees on workplace stress and employee turnover intention. Innovar, 28(68), 67-75. Web.

Johnson, J., Irizarry, M., Nguyen, N., & Maloney, P. (2018). Part 1: Foundational theories of human motivation. Web.

Juariyah, L., & Saktian, I. R. (2018). Does motivators determine employees’ job satisfaction? Testing Herzberg theory of motivation in Indonesian café and restaurant context. KnE Social Sciences, 482-490. Web.

Kollmann, T., Stöckmann, C., Kensbock, J. M., & Peschl, A. (2020). What satisfies younger versus older employees, and why? An aging perspective on equity theory to explain interactive effects of employee age, monetary rewards, and task contributions on job satisfaction. Human Resource Management, 59(1), 101-115. Web.

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Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., & Murray, E. L. (2020). Organizational behavior: a critical-thinking approach. Los Angeles Sage.

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