For just a second, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being considered for a job and several people from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a bit garbled and hard to understand. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re really good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the discussion. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people using the same approach the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They found that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been more than $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a serious workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And it might come as a shock that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t recognize 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 great deal to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You might not even know how great an effect on your job it’s having. Take steps to lessen the impact like:
- Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Wear your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for someone who works in a noisy area. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Be certain your work space is brightly lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to think about if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved by getting it treated. We can help so give us a call!