For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little muddled and hard to comprehend. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people utilizing the same method the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your general 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 missed out on a commission of $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It could be affecting your job more than you know. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:
- If a task is going to be beyond 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 loud. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. This way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. Conversations will be easier to follow.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other consideration 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.
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even require many of the accommodations.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Request 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 are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. Call us right away – we can help!