Training is an investment that pays multiple dividends. We tend to invest in technology, new fancy toys. But we often don’t invest enough in training because we underestimate the return.

Your average employee works about 1,900 hours yearly. A typical organization doesn’t spend more than 10 to 40 hours training this person during the onboarding process. That’s between 1 to 2 percent of their yearly working hours in total.

Imagine you could improve the performance of each employee by 20 percent by investing 60 hours, or 1.5 weeks, each year? The bump in performance wouldn’t happen just once, but rather every year for the duration of their employment. So you spend 5 percent of an employee’s yearly hours in order to see a return on performance of 20 percent. That’s not a bad return on investment. Even if the performance increase were limited to 5 percent, the training hours would pay for themselves.

Think about your frontline staff. Providing them with improved training, better sales and product knowledge, new ways of engaging with your members, and tactics for interacting with different generations will deliver value every time they engage with a member. Meanwhile, a half-trained frontline employee delivers a brand value of zero, sometimes even negative. Not once a day, multiple times a day. Day after day. Week after week.

It’s easy to cut back on training. It doesn’t seem important on the budget sheet. It doesn’t imply immediate returns. Moreover, it’s hard to take full responsibility for developing a training program that pays for itself and much more. But you owe it to yourself, to your team and your members. Without an adequate investment in training, you pay the continuous cost in poor performance and lost opportunity.