Can’t Hear Very Well at Work? You Might be Missing More Than You Think

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. As the call goes on, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking the volume up. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. 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 certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Should you acknowledge 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 conspicuous.

Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work in general? The following can help us find out.

Unequal pay

The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.

They found that people who have untreated hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.

His commission on this contract would have been more than $1000.

The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?

Workplace Injuries

Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a serious on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Personality

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you recognize. Take steps to reduce the impact like:

  • Be certain your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
  • When you’re talking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Know that you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to follow.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can create will be resolved by getting it treated. Call us today – we can help!

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.