Make a noise for hearing friendly workplaces
Post on 3rd March 2020
As today (3rd March) is World Hearing Day, let’s speak up about the importance of hearing health at work – so that it doesn’t remain a silent taboo.
Helping people with hearing loss feel comfortable and included in the workplace is a sound investment; it benefits communication, productivity and the health and happiness of employees too.
People who have trouble hearing may not raise concerns at work if they fear it could affect their job or career prospects, if they’re embarrassed by this change in their life or if they’re simply unsure what to do about it.
Here are some tips to make workplaces more hearing friendly
– Raise awareness of the issue at all levels of the business and encourage people to look out for colleagues who may need support
– Be flexible and modify a job to take the needs of someone with hearing loss into account
– Reduce noise levels wherever possible and consider siting noise-making machines where they have the least impact
– Move people with hearing loss to an office with good acoustics where sound is transmitted well
– Place them where they can see the rest of the room not with their back to the door to increase awareness and communication
– In meetings, ensure only one person speaks at a time and if necessary ask them to use a microphone if available
– Invest in technology and equipment to help people with hearing loss so you retain their skills and experience in the workplace. For example installing a loop system would assist hearing aid users
– Changes do not have to be expensive – good lighting helps as people with hearing loss rely on visual cues for effective communication
– Provide a supportive environment where people feel more confident to raise their hearing loss concerns and then act on those concerns
As the length of working lives increases, age-related hearing loss will affect more people in the workplace. It makes business sense to accommodate their needs and ensure they have the tools to continue to do the job well.
If you’re concerned about your hearing, please call in at your local Scrivens branch for advice. Many of our branches provide a free NHS hearing service. For anyone over 50, we recommend an annual hearing health check to identify any changes and see what action is needed.