Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of people from your business have come together on a conference call. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the discussion. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people using the same approach the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He missed out on a commission of $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased danger of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And it may come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you know. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Make sure your work space is well lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved by getting it treated. We can help so call us!