Should you tell your Employer about Changes to Your Hearing?
While sharing personal information with your boss is optional, it’s beneficial to inform your employer that you have hearing loss. Notifying your team of any difficulties allows them to provide you with the necessary support. Not disclosing your condition means you’re expected to fulfil work obligations without the help you need.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can develop gradually. For this reason, you might not realise the condition or even notice how it’s affecting your work. The following are possible symptoms of hearing loss:
- You struggle to hear and follow what your colleagues are saying
- You frequently ask colleagues to repeat themselves
- You misinterpret or misunderstand verbal tasks
- You struggle to hear over the phone
- You avoid interacting with colleagues
- You get confused about which direction a sound is coming from
If you’re experiencing any hearing loss symptoms listed above, complete a hearing assessment and consult an audiologist before approaching your boss.
Will sharing my condition affect my career?
No, telling your boss about your hearing loss will not affect your career. There are laws to protect those with disabilities from workplace discrimination or dismissal. Additionally, disclosing your condition sets the table for discussions on how your boss can provide reasonable accommodation and resources to support your work.
Additionally, this information will help your boss decide which tasks work best for you and also provide a platform for training your colleagues on how to support you while at work.
When is the right time to disclose my hearing loss to my boss?
The best time to inform your boss about your hearing loss is following your diagnosis. You should do this privately as you begin to determine your potential workplace adjustments. Share possible solutions, such as using a hearing aid or a preference for email communication, to help you work and communicate effectively.
During this meeting, explain how hearing loss affects your work, what tasks you struggle with, and the ones you can perform comfortably. Your boss should explain what policies and resources are available to support employees with your health condition. They should also define steps and a timeline to promptly ensure these resources are available to you.
What if my boss is unsupportive?
If your boss responds poorly to the news of your hearing loss, bring the matter to your superior or relevant workers’ rights organisations. You can request a meeting with your Human Resource Manager or file a formal complaint through your employee grievance system.
Telling your boss that you have hearing loss can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, but many bosses want their employees comfortable and happy at work. Many bosses will do anything to support you while at work. Most people don’t even see hearing changes as a big deal and will adapt to meet your needs where they can.
For more words of wisdom from Les and the team here at Swindon Hearing Specialists, please get in touch Chat with us here