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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a minute, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your business for the job. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re very good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to solve. Your boss is counting 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 may think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.

Unequal pay

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

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

He missed out on a $1000 commission.

The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.

On the Job Injuries

Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

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

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Empathy
  • Experience
  • Personality

These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you know. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you might decide to reveal this before the interview.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Conversations will be easier to follow.
  • Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. For example, your boss may want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • When you’re talking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can present will be solved by having 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.