Bookmark and ShareShare
Friday, October 26, 2012

Gallup Election Update With Less Than Two Weeks to Go

Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport appeared on MSNBC's Jansing & Co. this morning to analyze the latest presidential election polls and discuss the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy on the presidential race.

Watch the video below:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit the Election 2012 page and sign up for Gallup News alerts to get the latest election news.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How World-Class Healthcare Systems Improve the Patient Experience

By Katie Bell, Managing Consultant, Gallup Healthcare

The rising cost of healthcare in the United States coupled with the absence of return on investment for Americans’ health is an important concern for many leaders across the country. And as many health systems adopt new strategies to reduce patient readmission rates and improve Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores, clear measurement of patient outcomes and performance indicators have never been more essential.

At the 2012 Gallup Healthcare Summit held earlier this month, experts from some of the world’s most pre-eminent healthcare systems discussed successful, evidence-based leadership practices and innovative strategies for improving care and the patient experience. These healthcare leaders adopted behavioral economic indicators that predicted outcomes for their healthcare systems, improved their operating margins, and engaged their employees.

Healthcare leaders from innovative institutions such as Cleveland Clinic, Bon Secours, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and MultiCare Health System shared best practices that healthcare systems can use to offer the best care available, while running efficiently and profitably.

  • Look internally for innovation: Healthcare executives must make tough decisions regarding how to improve the patient experience, while paying attention to increasing healthcare costs. While it is important to look externally for innovative ideas for delivery of patient care and cost savings to stay ahead of the curve, some of the best innovative capital comes from employees within the organization.
  • Care for the caregiver: World-class healthcare systems like the Cleveland Clinic have leadership teams who are committed to building a culture that focuses on the patient experience. Managers provide ongoing recognition and rewards for engaged work teams who provide exceptional patient care.
  • Develop leadership academies that work: Traditionally, healthcare leaders -- who are trained clinicians -- lack the tools, skills, and training to manage people. World-class hospitals identify their employees’ leadership potential and then put them through a year-long leadership academy. A class of high-potential leaders graduates each year. These hospitals have metrics and rigor around leadership, which is beneficial for succession planning.
  • Develop a specific plan to reduce readmission rates: Gallup research has identified predictive survey items that allow hospital care teams to take action with a patient before discharge in an effort to reduce the likelihood a patient will be readmitted within 30 days.
For more information on how healthcare leaders can deliver higher quality care, while achieving greater financial success, visit the Gallup Healthcare Knowledge Center.

Friday, October 19, 2012

OECD Report Profiles the World’s 630 Million Potential Migrants

By Neli Esipova, World Poll Regional Director; Julie Ray, Writer and Analyst; and Aurelien Renard, Gallup Strategic Consultant

About 14% of world’s adults -- roughly 630 million adults aged 15 and older -- said they would like to move to another country permanently if they had the opportunity to do so between 2008 and 2010. However, less than one-tenth of them -- about 48 million adults -- were planning to move in the following year, and less than half of those in the planning stages -- about 19 million people -- were already making the necessary preparations to move, such as applying for visas and purchasing tickets.

These findings are from the report, Connecting with Emigrants: A Global Profile of Diasporas, published by The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and the French Agency for Development (AFD). The report examines the potential of diasporas as a source of economic and social development in origin countries, whether they could help foster development depending on their characteristics, and how governments facilitate the involvement of diasporas.

Through its partnership with the OECD, Gallup contributed to this report by providing exclusive insights on the profile of potential migrants. Through its World Poll, Gallup collected data on the desire to migrate in 146 countries from 2008 to 2010. These data highlight migration patterns that may change the composition of diasporas in the coming years.

Here are some of the top findings from this report:

  • People are nearly twice as likely to say they would like to migrate for temporary work (26%) as to leave permanently (14%). Across the 119 countries and areas surveyed in 2009 and 2010, an estimated 1.1 billion people wish to migrate to work temporarily to another country.
  • One in three residents in the sub-Saharan African countries surveyed expressed a desire to migrate permanently to another country -- the highest percentage among all regions.
  • Sixteen countries attract more than 70% of potential migrants worldwide, with the U.S. and Canada and countries in the European Union appearing as the destination countries that appeal most.
  • About one in four potential migrants -- 145 million adults worldwide -- indicate the United States as their desired country of residence.
  • Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Australia appeal to at least 25 million adults. One in five adults who would like to move to a country in the European Union already lives in the European Union.
  • Nearly one in four adults aged 15 to 24 would like to migrate (23%), compared with 15% in the 25 to 44 age group, 9% in the 45 to 64 age group, and 5% for those aged 65 and older.
  • Worldwide, underemployed adults are more likely (20%) than those employed full time (13%) or not in the workforce (11%) to express their wish to migrate.
For more in-depth data on worldwide migration patterns, read Connecting with Emigrants: A Global Profile of Diasporas and more stories on global migration trends from

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The New Definition of Career Readiness

By Tim Hodges, Ph.D., Gallup Research Director for Education

Job seekers everywhere are searching for ways to prepare and compete for good jobs and fulfilling careers. Education leaders also are seeking better ways to prepare students for postsecondary education and the world of work that follows.

Gallup’s research suggests that America’s current system of education and workforce preparation falls short of college and career readiness targets. While just 3% of Americans “strongly agree” that today’s high school dropout is ready for the working world, adding a high school diploma only increases the percentage who strongly agree to 4%, according to the 44th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

Americans do not believe that a high school education is sufficient preparation for college readiness either, with just 8% of Americans saying they strongly agree that high school graduates are ready for college. Only 14% of Americans strongly agree that today’s college graduates are ready for the world of work.

This harsh indictment calls for a new vision for college and career readiness. In early 2012, leaders from more than 25 national education, business, philanthropic, and policy groups, including Gallup, came together to form the Career Readiness Partner Council (CRPC), coordinated by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). The CRPC’s goal is to enhance reform efforts for college and career readiness, and to bring clarity and focus to what it means to be career ready.

Today marks the launch of a new website,, and Building Blocks for Change: What It Means to Be Career Ready, a document representing the CRPC’s shared vision. The organization calls for a more inclusive approach that combines education and workforce preparation under one umbrella. This new definition challenges the historical belief that career readiness is a one-way street that starts in K-12 and runs through college, ending as one enters a career. These days, it is increasingly common for adults to return to school — whether in community college, night classes, or online, or as full-time students — to brush up on their knowledge and skills, obtain specific job training, or make an entire career change. Therefore, the CRPC recognizes that career readiness is a lifelong process that connects education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially secure, and successful career.

Further, the CRPC acknowledges that developing one’s innate talents is essential for career readiness and necessary for engaging in today’s fast-paced, global economy. While academic, technical, and workplace knowledge, skills, and dispositions vary from one career to another and change over time, one’s innate talents remain consistent. Gallup has helped more than 8 million people on their path to college and career readiness by discovering their talents through the Clifton StrengthsFinder. The unprecedented level of self-awareness that results from developing one’s strengths is particularly beneficial during times of transition, such as when students move from high school to ongoing education, students graduate from school and join the workforce, and employees experience a job change. Through decades of research, Gallup has found that when students and employees discover, develop, and use their strengths, they are more likely to be involved in and enthusiastic about their school and their work.

There are few jobs in our economy where the knowledge and skills necessary for getting hired are still sufficient several years later. Today’s world of education and work requires constant acquisition of new skills, education, and experiences to prepare for the inevitable changes that will occur. Today’s announcement from the CRPC offers clear guidance and lays out the next steps for policymakers, teachers, employers, parents, students, and communities on how to move toward career readiness.

Visit to learn more about the CRPC.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Highlighting Students’ Strengths as a Pathway to Success

by Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education

As the White House hosts an “Education Datapalooza” today to showcase how data is helping address the massive challenges in education, I’m thrilled to announce that Gallup will play a critical role in getting our country back to winning in education.

As we struggle mightily to prepare today’s students for the unpredictable demands of tomorrow’s world and workplace, it is apparent that yesterday’s classroom won’t cut it. Though once a model for the world to follow, the U.S. educational system has slipped and we can’t seem to get back on the winning track.

Instead of focusing on what made us great and what natural strengths we possess that could make us great once again, we have done something very disturbing. We have focused on what’s wrong with our schools, our teachers, and our students. We’ve perseverated over deficits as opposed to assets.

For decades, Gallup has honed the science of “strengths” -- what we would describe as an individual’s innate talents, or consistently recurring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This is very different from measuring skills or experiences and it’s far from a personality assessment. We have identified 34 distinct talent themes, making up a total of more than 33 million unique talent combinations that a person might possess. This means that every single student and every single teacher in our schools has a unique set of talents.

Through our online StrengthsQuest assessment, students in grades 6-12 can discover their unique strengths. And when they do, things change. Instead of being told what they aren’t doing well, they understand what they do best and how to aim those strengths at their school work and across their life’s trajectory.

As of today, Gallup will be making a student’s Top 5 talent themes available for download to their MyData source hosted by the U.S. Department of Education. Each student enrolled in public school who takes Gallup’s StrengthsQuest -- the student version of our famous StrengthsFinder -- can now use the MyData button to add their strengths to their personal educational record and profile, taking their Top 5 strengths with them across their educational journey and even their career journey.

The implications of this new development are profound. We talk a lot about the importance of delivering “individualized and personalized” education. There is no more fundamental level of individualization than a student’s strengths. It’s literally how these students are hard-wired. And if you build students’ educational experiences around their innate strengths, there is no limit to what these young people can accomplish.

Of all the research Gallup has conducted, perhaps the most important insight we’ve ever uncovered is this: The most successful people did not focus on trying to improve their weaknesses -- they became great in ways they were already good. If we get back to focusing on the strengths of our schools, teachers, and students, we will light up America. Gallup is going to do its part to unleash this force. We are honored to play a role in bringing powerful data to scale and to the benefit of our nation’s students.         

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Countdown to the Presidential Election in Kenya

By Magali Rheault, Regional Consultant, Africa

In less than 150 days, Kenyans will cast a ballot to choose their next president. But as March 4, 2013, grows near, there appears to be a great deal of confusion in Kenya about the election process. Gallup results from a nationally representative survey of 2,400 Kenyans conducted July 26-Aug. 17, 2012, are telling.

Kenya's electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), requires that Kenyans must have a new voting card to cast a ballot. According to the IEBC, former voting cards are invalid to vote in the upcoming election. Among the 74% of Kenyans aged 18 and older who say they are registered to vote, only 32% say they have an IEBC voting card. Further, some Kenyans who say they have an IEBC voting card may be under the mistaken impression that the old cards will still be valid.

This reveals that most Kenyans who think they are properly registered are not, highlighting confusion about the new voting rules.

What happens in Kenya in the months leading up to the election is important for many reasons, the most urgent of which is to avoid a repeat of the violence that engulfed the country in 2007 after the last presidential election.

Beyond the sheer loss of life and the trauma Kenyans experienced, is the economic impact of the violence -- the destruction of local businesses and the drop in foreign investment and tourism revenue.

There is also the message this electoral violence has conveyed to Kenyans, fellow Africans, and others around the world: When people lose confidence in their institutions to handle issues, they may decide to take matters into their own hands.

Other results from the Gallup survey, presented at an event in Nairobi on Oct. 5, 2012,  paint a cautious picture:

  • 72% of adults 18 and older say they believe the judicial system is prepared to handle any dispute of electoral results from the upcoming presidential election;
  • 53% say they have confidence in the honesty of elections;
  • 73% say they have confidence in their local police to ensure people’s safety during the presidential election; and 
  • 23% think there will be a repeat of post-election violence after the 2013 election.
While the electoral commission administering the entire process plays an important role in what happens next, Kenyans’ willingness to accept the election outcome -- whatever it may be -- will be critical to peace. But of course, that willingness lies, in large part, in people’s belief that the system is transparent and that the rule of law can prevail. In light of the confusion about voter requirements and registration, it also remains to be seen how many Kenyans will actually be able to vote.

In the months leading to the election, we will report on Kenyans' views of the election process, presidential candidates, the judicial system, the International Criminal Court proceedings, and perceptions of peace and security. The surveys, funded by the East Africa Index, a Kenya-based research organization, will highlight the most pertinent findings about Kenya.

Watch Robert D. Tortora, Ph.D., Gallup Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, discuss security concerns facing Kenya’s presidential election on CNBC Africa. View Part 1 and Part 2.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Opportunity Most Companies Miss

By Keri Garman, Marketing Director, Consulting Practice

Gallup's Fall Summit in Washington, D.C., held last week, focused exclusively on how organizations can build and manage a talent-operating system that functions like a well-oiled machine.

Gallup’s experience partnering with many of the world’s leading organizations shows that leaders can engineer a system that keeps the organization stocked with the talented people needed for growth by focusing on five key areas. The five components companies must have in place, and working together systematically, are:

  • A succession plan that works;
  • A way to audit the talent at all levels of the organization;
  • The right recruiting and hiring strategy;
  • An intentional plan to provide the necessary breakthrough experiences for high-potential managers and leaders at the right times in their careers; and
  • The systems needed to provide ongoing development, engagement, and performance management to keep top talent.
On the surface, this may sound like a simple checklist or framework for success. However, most companies struggle to successfully manage even one or two of these key items, never mind aligning them all systematically. Throughout the three days of the summit, attendees listened to Gallup experts and leaders from Abdul Latif Jameel, Charles Schwab, Disney, HP, Harley-Davidson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Stryker, and U.S. Bank, who shed light on the tough reality of implementing these systems in large, global organizations.

Leaders must answer many questions specific to their own organization during the process of building a talent machine, but a few broad themes stood out among the companies who have seen significant changes in their organizational cultures and in their bottom lines:
  • Start at the top. Success doesn’t come without a clear strategy or without buy in from senior leadership. HR is a key partner in each of these five areas, but it takes a larger commitment from the organization to create a culture that cultivates talent.
  • Don’t trust your gut. Organizations have a better chance of selecting the right person for the job by flipping a coin rather than selecting based on a gut instinct about someone. Bringing objective data about individuals’ talents to the subjective decision-making process is essential to avoid costly wrong decisions and inherent biases.
  • Keep your customers in mind. Don’t lose sight of how the changes you make internally affect the customer. Remember to consider the broader context of the marketplace and how you can leverage your talented employees to create a more engaging experience for your customers. 
  • Focus on excellence. Organizations who see major ROI from these efforts do not accept average; they set the bar high, continue to raise it, and make no exceptions when it comes to having the right talent.
The one question that all leaders should ask themselves is whether each hiring, firing, and promotion strengthens their organization. If you hesitate while answering this question, your organization is missing a huge strategic opportunity.

Learn how to accelerate growth by finding and developing the right talent here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why We Should Care What Students Think

By Shane J. Lopez, Gallup Senior Scientist

For the 55.5 million K-12 students in the U.S., the vast majority of their waking hours are spent in a classroom. Many parents attempt to find out about their child’s day when they come home, but getting details about what happened hours ago in school isn’t easy. Most parents will tell you that their child’s answer to, “So, how was school today?” is usually, “Okay.” At the end of most days, parents know very little about what happened in their child’s classroom.

If parents ask their child’s teacher or principal for information about their child’s school experience -- which lessons their child finds most interesting, which teachers are most engaging, how their child feels while in school -- they might get a puzzled response. Most schools (and most school districts) aren’t in the business of asking students what they think. I believe they really do care, but they don’t show it by asking students for their opinions. Not asking students for their opinions is a missed opportunity, because no one knows better about how school is going than its target audience -- the students themselves.

If each student were given the chance to share what they think about subjects, teachers, and school in general, we could build a record of the critical people and events that contribute to each student’s successes and failures. This “educational black box” could be used to explain and predict student outcomes.

Through the Gallup Student Poll, we have asked more than 1 million students about their daily experiences at school and their lives in general. Specifically, we zeroed in on the hope, engagement, and wellbeing of American children. These students’ responses offer valuable insights that should guide discussions and decisions about the future of education in this country. Insights like:

  • American students are confident in their abilities to do well academically, but they lack key strategies needed to actually achieve their goals. 
  • Most students feel safe at school, but they don’t feel appreciated. They long for more praise and recognition when they do well on their schoolwork.
  • Most importantly, students are more than willing to share what they think if we ask them the right questions.
Thanks to technology and efficient data-gathering techniques, it’s also quicker than you might think. Gallup was able to gather the insights above by asking 20 well-researched questions that take about eight minutes to answer online. The results are available to schools soon after the students complete the survey, rather than months later.

As parents and schools get better at asking students what they think, they could develop a more detailed understanding of effective teaching. Gallup research shows that influential teachers give students two things that make a big difference: care and encouragement. Maybe parents should start by asking their children these two questions:

  1. How did your teacher show you he cared for you today? 
  2. What did your teacher do to encourage you to do your best work today?
If parents and schools truly listen to the answers, they can determine which teachers and what educational strategies can make a difference in children’s lives.

Copyright © 2010 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement