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Recognition Insecurity Motivation

I have an employee who keeps complimenting himself. He'll say what a good job he did on a particular project, and then repeat it several times. I am tired of hearing this, and I wonder if I should tell him to stop.

When employees constantly compliment themselves, they do not receive many compliments for doing so. However, since there can be deep-seated needs behind this behavior, simply telling him to stop is not going to have much of an impact. Hie tendency to languish over his accomplishments is most likely a reflection of underlying insecurities and a strong need for positive reinforcement. He needs frequent validation that he is a good employee, and therefore, a good person. When he tosses out a compliment about something he has done, he is waiting for you to drop a compliment on top of his. If you don't, he'll most likely continue to pat his own back until you chime in. Since he apparently has strong needs for recognition, you should structure his work so that his successful performance brings him the positive feedback he seeks. If he understands that recongition will come when he meets work-related goals, he is far more likely to work hard to meet those goals. If he then receives praise and recognition from you and significant others, he is likely to sense less of a need to write his own press releases. And if he is truly performing well, putting up with some self-adulation is a small price to pay.

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