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Poll: Vt. Workforce Unenthusiastic

A Gallup survey shows Vermont has one of the least-engaged workforces in the nation. According to Gallup, only 27 percent of the Vermont employees are “emotionally engaged” at work. The only state with a less-enthusiastic workforce is Minnesota.

The results, released Tuesday, are based on surveys of 151,284 employees conducted throughout 2012. At least 506 employees were surveyed in every state.

Gallup gauges engagement using an index of 12 workplace factors that include productivity, customer service, quality, retention, safety and profit.

Just shy of 20 percent of Vermont workers were classified as “actively disengaged.”

Gallup offers the following definitions of “engaged,” “not engaged,” and “actively disengaged” workers: “Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Those who are not engaged are satisfied with their workplaces, but are not emotionally connected to them — and these employees are less likely to put in discretionary effort. The actively disengaged workers are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize the performance of their teams.”

Louisiana has the most enthusiastic workforce, according to Gallup, with 37 percent of workers deemed “engaged.” In fact, seven of the top 10 states are in the South.

The margin of error for most states was plus or minus 1 percentage point to 2 plus or minus percentage points. For several smaller states, including Vermont, the margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Gallup says it can’t offer a conclusive explanation for the discrepancies in engagement across the nation. In addition to variations in workplace conditions, the survey conclusions suggest that demographic trends may dictate the results.

“For example, baby boomers and those in Generation X are the least likely to be engaged in general, according to Gallup’s just-published State of the American Workplace report. Thus, it could be that states where engagement is particularly low have a disproportionately high percentage of either baby boomers, Generation X’ers, or both.”

The conclusions also indicate that average size of employers in states could also play a role — larger employers tend to have less engaged workers, according to Gallup.