Nicole is an expert in creating workplace solutions for people in business who are hard of hearing.
As a marketing executive with a significant hearing loss, she has learned how to adapt to challenging situations in many corporate environments utilizing technology, spatial awareness and educating her peer group on best practices for engaging with her. Nicole is passionate about generating awareness and providing practical solutions to the ever-growing class of business professionals with hearing loss.
Nicole Behne creates workplace solutions for people who are hard of hearing (HOH). Her work transforms an invisible challenge negatively impacting 12% of America’s workforce into environments where employees are more engaged, included, and productive.
It is not easy to navigate the business world with hearing loss. Studies prove hearing loss can often cause reduced productivity due to depression, social isolation, and listening fatigue in the workplace. As a Fortune 300 marketing executive with a significant hearing loss, Nicole has learned how to adapt to challenging situations in many workplace environments. From board rooms to manufacturing floors, Nicole has learned how to utilize technology, spatial awareness and education to help her peer group achieve best practices when engaging employees who are HOH.
Nicole is passionate about advocating for and providing practical solutions to the ever-growing class of business professionals with a hearing loss disability. Each space and situation present unique opportunities to find efficient and effective ways to navigate the hurdles that affect individuals with hearing loss. She understands the value of a company’s diverse workforce and leads the charge to make sure everyone is “heard.” She has launched Hearing Inclusion to help DEI leaders and HR teams conduct environmental assessments, develop customized plans of action, and produce individualized coaching programs.Support the show
Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS (00:00):
World Hearing Day is Friday, March 3rd, 2023. Super excited to celebrate. And Nicole, Hearing Day - World Hearing Day...it's really World Hearing Day for us every day, but this is an opportunity for us to make more of an impact. And this year's theme is "Ear and Hearing Care for All. Let's Make It a Reality." Now, curious to know, what is World Hearing Day and how does that apply to hearing inclusion?
Nicole Behne (00:32):
I love this year's theme. First of all, Blaise, "Ear and Hearing Care for All. Let's Make It a Reality" - and when you think about that in the business space, where I go is thinking about that, that, that hearing care piece of it. Challenging organizations to think through what they're doing to make sure their employees do have proper hearing care. Um, one of the questions that I would say comes to top of mind just from previous experiences is are hearing aids covered as part of their insurance policy for the organization? Because I have yet to find a company that doesn't cover eye care, right, that in, in business today. So, people are covering eyeglasses but not hearing aids and thinking about that. The organizations today, technology, I talked about the video captions that I use... it works really well when the room is already micd, right? So when there's microphones throughout the room, I can go into any meeting room, whether there is a virtual link or not, but tap into that meeting room and the microphones in there, and still pick up the conversation that's happening around those extremely large conference room tables.
So, if it's as simple as that, are the organizations doing what they need for hearing care? Because that will improve mental health for their employees as well. And then as we think about Hearing Care for All, making it a reality, I link that back to the 65 plus age demographic that is gonna continue to be in our workforce for the next few years. The workforce is changing, it is getting older. What are we doing around effective communication for those that have a hearing loss in the workforce? So, I think World Hearing Day is really, it's this springboard. It's about, "Hey, look, everybody's talking about it on March 3rd. Let's not just have it be March 3rd." Like you said, it's every day, but March 3rd can be the day that we say, raise our hands and say, "Hey, DE and I leaders, hey, HR leadership team, are you thinking about us because we're here?"