You Could be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being considered for a job and numerous people from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re pretty sure you got the gist of it.

Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What can you do?

Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

Every single day, people everywhere go through situations like this at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

But how is neglected hearing loss really impacting your work in general? Let’s see.

Lower wages

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

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss effects your general 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 pulled out. They decided to work with a company that listens better.

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

The circumstances were misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.

On the Job Injuries

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

And it may come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Experience
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You might not even recognize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
  • Use your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Understand that when you’re interviewing, you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss. 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 decide to disclose this before the interview.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. 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.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can create will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call 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.