How Hearing Aids Boost Job Security
One concern many customers express to hearing care professionals is a fear that wearing hearing aids while still in the workforce will make them appear older, less effective or otherwise impaired. And although there are many legal remedies for discrimination due to age or disability, concerns remain that some companies will use wearing hearing aids as an opportunity to discriminate in hiring, promotion or retention. However, the reality is you may be hurting your career by not getting hearing aids.
Here are five ways in which wearing hearing aids can improve your work performance and job security:
1. Help you hear better in crowded environments. Trade shows, large corporate meetings, restaurants and other busy work locations generate tremendous amounts of background noise, which makes functioning very difficult for anyone with even moderate hearing loss. Many hearing aids have features that suppress unwanted noise and let you hear the person or people you need to clearly. Especially if you work in a fast-paced, loud environment like an emergency room, this level of clarity is vital to work performance.
2. Reduce co-worker aggravation and gossip. If you want to retain your job, you probably know that keeping other employees on your side is a big part of the game. If you become known for saying, “What?” all the time, or the one who radically misinterprets statements, then you can be sure your co-workers will become irritated. Over time, they may even begin to talk about your seeming inability to keep up behind your back. Rather than fake your way through interactions by straining to hear, attempting to read lips or guessing what’s being said by the few words you understood, try using hearing aids.
3. Prevent yourself from seeming over the hill. If you think wearing hearing aids might make you seem old or lacking in competence, consider this: your manager is far more likely to think these things if he or she regularly gives you directions that you either don’t hear or misinterpret. In trying not to appear too old for promotion or retention by not getting hearing aids, you may in fact be sabotaging your reputation and with it, your career.
4. Reduce exhaustion on the job. Struggling to hear all day long contributes to fatigue, and no one can perform at peak ability if worn out most of the day. Hearing aids don’t just boost sound, they improve clarity and understanding. Once you are confident you’re not missing or misinterpreting information all day long, the added exhaustion related to hearing loss will dissipate.
5. Improve your attitude. Not being able to hear on the job is stressful. Combined with regular work-related stress, the worry that you misheard a direction or missed it altogether can be frustrating and discouraging. Constant stress, plus the aggravation expressed by your co-workers and loss of respect by managers, can quickly damage your own attitude, making your job a source of misery. The use of hearing aids can quickly alleviate these issues and allow you to take pride and satisfaction in your career once again. And with your improved demeanor, the attitude of others toward you will only improve, as well.
Stay secure with the help of a hearing care professional
The ADA has successfully protected and advanced the rights of the disabled, but there is still work to be done. Be a hearing care advocate in your workplace by raising awareness about hearing loss and by making regular appointments with a hearing care professional to keep your ears working their best. Your employer will thank you—and so will your wallet.