Addressing hearing loss in the workplace allows you to stay ahead of the game and helps you have greater success. In fact, the sooner you take action to address hearing loss, the sooner you’ll see that hearing loss treatment actually pays on the job. The willingness to take action is the single most important ingredient for success. This is true in any career, in any business venture, and at any time in a person’s life.
Hearing Loss is Common
If you suspect that you may have hearing loss, you’re not alone. Of the nearly 40 million people in the United States with hearing loss, the majority are still in the workforce. And more than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem. Another 30 percent suspect they have a problem but have not yet sought treatment. And still another study revealed that hearing loss is actually common among forty something’s – people who are in the prime of their careers.
The vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. And today’s high-tech, sleek, and virtually invisible hearing aids are better than ever. They make it easier to hear sounds and people from all directions and filter out noise. Many of today’s hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal and out of sight, and many are wireless, so they can interface easily with other high-tech devices like smartphones, conference-room speakerphones, and hearing loops. Some are even waterproof, and others are rechargeable.
Achieving success really does take action. And addressing hearing loss is no exception. In fact, addressing hearing loss is a great way to put your best foot forward – and it pays off.
Consider these five ways that getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids, if recommended by a hearing care professional, could pay dividends on the job for you:
1. Let the boss know you’re a go-getter
Addressing hearing loss sends the message that you want to succeed and that you’re willing to do what it takes to make that happen. It also shows self-assurance and a willingness to deal with issues head-on.
2. Improve your on-the-job communications skills
A national study by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) found that nearly seven out of 10 participants with hearing loss reported improvements in their ability to communicate effectively in most situations because they used hearing aids. They saw improvement in their ability to hear in business meetings, while talking on the telephone, in small gatherings, in quiet conversation, and at restaurants.
3. Strengthen your work relationships
Good listening skills are important for understanding the needs of clients, customers, and co-workers as well as to positive workplace interactions. So why allow treatable hearing loss to pose a barrier when a hearing test and hearing aids might help? Instead, take action to hear your best. Research shows people with hearing loss saw improvements in their work relationships when they used hearing aids.
4. Amp up your confidence
Enhanced self-efficacy is an important benefit of using hearing aids. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, they often feel less self-critical and more in control of their lives. One BHI study found that the majority of people with mild and severe hearing loss felt better about themselves and life overall as a result of using hearing aids.
5. Unleash your earning potential
Hearing your best at work helps you do your best. Using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90-100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65-77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. And people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be employed than their peers who don’t. People with untreated hearing loss lost as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study showed.
So go ahead. See how treating hearing loss can pay dividends on the job for you.