Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Multiple reps from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. All of the different voices get a little garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things get 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 have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What do you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

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

But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work in general? Let’s find out.

Unequal pay

A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method 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.

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on the job

Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a serious workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And it might come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.

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

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Skills

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You may not even realize how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:

  • Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. 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 undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • When you’re talking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you may decide to divulge this before the interview.
  • Request 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.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But having it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with untreated hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!

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