Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. All of the various voices get a little muddled and hard to understand. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep cranking the volume up. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What do you do?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Every single day, people everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get 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 illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.
He missed out on a $1000 commission.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a serious workplace injury according to a study conducted 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 research.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you realize. Take steps to lessen the impact like:
- If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may ask you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy part of the building. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different job. In this way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you might need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you may choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Never disregard wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Keep a well lit work area. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But having it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Contact us right away – we can help!