Question: When an employee chronically does not do the job assigned to him, how much coaching should the leader do to try and rectify the situation?
Answer: When an employee chronically does not do the job assigned, there is obviously some onus on his leader to coach him towards rectifying the problem. However a leader/employer cannot be expected to continue repeated coaching ad infinitum if the problem does not resolve.
Eventually it may become clear that the person has lost the confidence of his leader/employer – who no longer believes he can do the job. As a result there has to be a parting of the ways.
On what basis should that parting be? To answer this, the appropriate question is: why did he fail in the job?
If he genuinely is not capable of doing the job, there is a case for a severance package. A lack of capability is not the person’s fault. People do mistakenly end up in a role believing that they are capable of performing it and then find that this is not the case. Employers also make wrong appointment decisions for the same reason.
The right thing to do is to acknowledge that a mistake has been made and support the person in moving to a role which matches his capability.
If the person did not succeed in the job because he was not willing to do the job, however, then he should be dismissed. In practice, this often means he resigns without a package. To give the unwilling person a package would be tantamount to rewarding someone for his malevolence. This is clearly not appropriate and should not happen.