Last week we received a call from a company looking for help building out a new employee recognitio program. Our first question was, "What are you trying to accomplish?" Threaded into the answer was the statement, "It all has to be paper-based." "Paper-based?" We asked.

"Oh yeah, with the ability to fax the information to our remote employees."

"Paper-based with fax capabilities??" Now we were really confused.

After the call ended, we wondered who would design a paper-based employee recognition program in today's tech-driven world? Then we realized that the majority of employee recognition programs that exist in companies around the globe are exactly that - paper-based! Nominations are submitted (maybe by email, but that's closer to paper than it is to automation). The nominations are printed and distributed to the committee who will pick the team member of the quarter, the monthly MVP, the top performer of the month, or some similar variation. The winner is selected. His or her name goes up on a plaque in the break room where all passerby can ignore it... uh, I mean see it. This process gets repeated next quarter, and the quarter after that, each time having a bit less of an impact on the employees.

There is a better way! Here are five ways that technology can make your employee recognition program have the impact you always dreamed about.