An Asian business man engages his team in the workplace despite hearing difficulties

Do you work with someone who you suspect has a hearing loss?

If you do, here are some suggestions to help in the workplace.

First, no jokes about hearing. It can be a sensitive subject. What a thoughtful coworker can do is this; reduce any distractions that may interfere with your conversation. A quiet environment always makes it easier to hear. If there is music playing, lower it or turn it off. If the copy machine or coffee maker is making noise, wait until it stops or you may step away to have a conversation. Make sure that you look directly at the person and speak slowly and distinctly. Keep your hands away from your face.

Your HR department can provide assistance for someone who struggles in the workplace. There are a wide variety of solutions for improved hearing on the phone or for hearing better in a meeting. Help is also available through a variety of smart phone apps.

There are 48 million Americans with untreated hearing loss. Research shows that untreated hearing loss results in lower salaries. It makes sense that an employee who is effective in communicating is going to perform at a higher level.

Caring for our coworkers creates the type of culture that helps businesses grow. Let’s take steps to help when we see someone struggling or left out of the conversation. You may change somebody’s life.