Friday, August 2, 2013

Gallup Poll: Only 35% of New Teachers Fully Engaged in Their Job, Drops Even Lower in Later Years

According to a new Gallup Poll, U.S. teachers for grades K-12 with less than one year of experience are the most engaged at work, at 35.1%. Engagement drops to 30.9% for teachers who have been on the job for one to three years and falls further to 27.9% for educators with three to five years of experience. Engagement picks back up slightly for those who have been teaching for more than five years.

This pattern -- of engagement dropping with more years on the job -- is similar in other occupation groups. However, the measurable decline in engagement by years of experience is smaller for those in other types of jobs. This is partly because new workers in non-teaching jobs having lower engagement to begin with than do new teachers.

The data analyze a cross-section of current teachers at various experience levels, rather than tracking the same teachers over time. This means that the data don't indicate whether teachers generally become less engaged after one year on the job, or if teachers currently at that experience level have been, and will continue to be, less engaged than teachers who are now on the job for less than one year or for more than five years.

The engagement findings are based on Americans' assessments of workplace elements with proven linkages to performance outcomes, including productivity, customer service, quality, retention, safety, and profit. These data are based on surveys of more than 7,265 American K-12 teachers, conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking from January through December 2012. Overall, 30% of American employees are engaged at work, according to Gallup's State of the American Workplace report.

Gallup's employee engagement index categorizes workers as engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged. Engaged workers are deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work and actively contributing to their organization. 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. Those workers categorized as actively disengaged are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace, and they jeopardize the performance of their teams.

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