To keep up with current workplace trends, employees need to develop both hard and soft skills. McKinsey estimates that up to 375 million people may need to learn new job skills by 2030 in order to adapt to technological transformation, says Heather Conklin for Fast Company.

Here are her five principles of effective employee development:

  1. Deliver education in micro-moments. Time is a precious resource, and we’ve learned that staring at a screen for hours on end is exhausting. People process information better when they can digest it in bite-size chunks.
  2. Enable hands-on experience. Learning all the skills you’ll need for the next decade seems not just overwhelming, but actually impossible in light of how quickly technology evolves. Plus, it’s hard to retain a mountain of information without putting it into practice. Teaching team members a few critical skills they need right now, then providing opportunities to practice as they go, makes learning feel more manageable and helps people retain information.
  3. Make content accessible. To keep employees involved and motivated, deliver information through engaging stories, rather than static content. Use inclusive language that makes everyone feel welcome, and teach skills that are customized to an individual’s role and existing knowledge base. Technology is key to enabling this kind of personalized learning journey at scale.
  4. Recognize progress. Finding ways to demonstrate acquired skills is both motivating for employees and useful for managers. For example, this can take the form of a certificate or a gamified experience in which workers earn points or level up.
  5. Elevate community. People learn best when they learn together. That can mean connecting employees around shared roles, like marketing or sales, or a shared skill base. Or it can mean linking people with mentors who can help them advance their careers.