The Effect of the Group Leaders’ Communication Skills on Performance of Groups Funded by Women Enterprise Fund in Kiambu County in Kenya
The Kenyan government has a lot of interest in the empowerment of women and youth as it believes that they will be the cornerstone of Kenya’s economic development. Therefore, the establishment of effective and efficient leadership skills among women group leaders in the Women Enterprise fund (WEF) is critical for the performance of these groups, since leadership is considered a critical indicator of organizational and group success. This study, therefore, sought to establish the effect of the group leaders’ communication skills on performance of the women groups. The target population was 53 women groups. The sample size used was 307 respondents. Simple random sampling was used. Primary data was used and questionnaires were used to collect data. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. The inferential statistics involved the use of Pearson’s correlation and regression analysis. The results indicated that leader communication skills have an influence on the Women Enterprise group’s performance. Leader communication skills are important, since organizational communication has become increasingly important for overall organizational functioning and performance. It is not possible to have good human relations without communication. One of the reasons for this is the direct contribution of organizational communication to organizational and employee learning which is qualified as a critical factor for competitive advantage (Gargiulo, 2005). The results indicate that there is a positive and significant relationship between communication skills of the group leaders and performance of the women groups. This is in view of the correlation coefficient (r = .523) which depicts that the two variables are related. This reveals that any positive change in communication skills leads to increased Women Enterprise groups’ performance. The study concludes that good leader communication skills would improve the performance of women groups. It is recommended that Women Enterprise Fund should institutionalize communication plans and guidelines to guide groups and their leaders for achievement of group goals. These guidelines will help develop a communication strategy to enhance group performance. WEF should therefore set aside more funds for capacity building.