You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Difficulty Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a bit muddled and hard to understand. But you’re hearing 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 really good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

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

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

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

Hey, that’s not fair!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

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

It was just a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.

On the Job Injuries

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased danger of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps 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:

  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Empathy

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It may be affecting your job more than you know. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:

  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. That way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
  • Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Be aware 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. Conversely, you might need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. In that case, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
  • Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But having it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Contact us right away – 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.