Perceived factors influencing retention of credit officers in microfinance institutions in embu county
Organizations world over have the human resource as their backbone and it is a significant resource for these organizations. It is a source of competitive advantage and can provide innovative solutions if strategically placed. However due to shortage of skilled labor, economic growth and globalization most firms including those in the private and public sector are finding it difficult to retain valued employees. The Microfinance institutions in Embu County have faced a lot of turnover from credit officers in the last couple of years due to high competition in the sector. There are very many upcoming micro finances that are bringing new and different ways of doing business and as a result threatening the older practices. The objective of this study was to determine the perceived factors influencing retention of credit officers in microfinance institutions in Embu County. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The target population for this study was all the credit officers of the 52 microfinance institutions who are members of Association of Microfinance institutions (AMFI) as at Dec 2015, 312 credit officers. The sample population of this study comprised of 3 credit officers in each of the 52 microfinance institutions in Embu as they are the ones conversant with the area of study. This was made up of a total of 156 credit officers; selected using purposive random sampling. Primary data was used for the study. A semi structured questionnaire with open ended and closed questions was used to collect data. The questionnaires were evaluated and assessed together with other primary and secondary data sources. With the assistance of SPSS (version 21), the analyzed data was interpreted in terms of standard deviation and averages. The study findings were presented in terms of graphical representations such as pie charts, bar charts, histograms, tables and grouped frequency distributions. The study found that all the factors used in the study influence the retention of credit officers in the microfinance institutions. From the analysis, some statements in the questionnaires were agreed upon while others were neutral. Therefore the conclusion is that if all the factors are well implemented in organizations, the rate of turnover in micro finances in Embu County would decrease. The study recommends that managers of MFIs in Embu County should perform realistic job previews, conduct regular trainings, offer fair reward management and job characteristics, provide career development and good working conditions and offer supervisor support in order to retain skilled and experienced staff in the organizations.
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