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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous people from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little jumbled and difficult to comprehend. But you’re quite sure you got the gist of it.

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

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What do you do?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

People go through scenarios 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 really impacting your work as a whole? The following will help us find out.

Lower wages

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

They discovered that people who have neglected hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.

Hey, that’s not fair!

Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. 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 circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.

Workplace Injuries

People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.

And people with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! 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

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Empathy
  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Skills

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even recognize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:

  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Know 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 impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. When you do, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. We can help so call 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.