You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re quite good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. What do you do?

Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.

But how is neglected hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? The following will help us find out.

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people using the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

He missed out on a commission of $1000.

It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things may have been.

On the Job Injuries

Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.

And individuals with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Empathy

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You may not even know how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
  • If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to think about if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to divulge this before the interview.
  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. Discussions will be easier to follow.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Make sure your work space is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing loss. We can help so contact us!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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