For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re getting most 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 fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere go through situations like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually impacting your work as a whole? The following will help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals using the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They found that people who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.
Hey, that’s not 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 overall performance. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you recognize. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. For example, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. That way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.
- Know that you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Never overlook wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- When you’re speaking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can present will be resolved by having it treated. Give us a call today – we can help!