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Where the Best Bosses Are

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Employees looking to work for a boss who treats them more like an equal than an underling should head west.

A new Gallup study revealed that employees in the Pacific, Mountain and West North Central regions of the U.S. are most likely to work for a boss who treats them as a partner rather than a subordinate. According to the research, being treated as an equal lays a foundation for higher employee engagement and productivity, as well as better emotional and physical health.

 The analysis by Gallup examined 13 forward-looking metrics to help determine which regions are poised for the brightest future.

The West North Central region, which includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, did best overall, buoyed by the highest percentage of workers employed in full-time jobs and the top Job Creation Index score in the country.

In addition to ranking high for having equal opportunist bosses, the Pacific region — comprising California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska — is also the healthiest region. The Pacific, along with the Mountain region, which consists of Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico, shares the lowest rates of smoking and obesity in the country.

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The study highlights the West North Central region's higher obesity and smoking rates, suggesting its leading position in the overall study could be in jeopardy should smoking and obesitybegin to pose negative effects on health care costs and productivity.

Residents in the West South Central region — made up of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma —  have the most positive outlook, according to the research. Residents there are much more likely than those in other regions to say that both their standard of living and their community as a place to live are getting better rather than getting worse.

The East South Central region, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, performed the worst of the nine regions tested.The study found that people there are the least likely to be employed full-time and the least likely to learn new and interesting things daily. They are also the most likely nationwide to be obese, to smoke and to say it is not easy for them to find a safe place to exercise.

The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index was based on surveys of nearly 480,000 U.S. adults from across the country.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.