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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous individuals from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little muddled and hard to comprehend. But you’re getting most of it.

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

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly hard 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 certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

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

So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s see.

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.

They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things may have been.

On the Job Injuries

People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a serious on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased danger of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.

And people with only minor hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Empathy

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be affecting your job more than you know. Take steps to reduce the impact like:

  • Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Requesting a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. For example, your boss might want you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. In this way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might choose to disclose this before the interview.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call 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.