If you have a low performing staff member (or volunteer) on your team, you basically have three options:
1. Train them. You may have failed to properly equip them to do their job well and if that’s the case you need to take a time out and spend some time training them properly and thoroughly.
2. Transfer them. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great points out the importance of both having the right people on the bus (a metaphor for your team) and having each person in the right seat on the bus. It is possible to pick the right person to join your team, but then put that person in the wrong role. So before moving to our third option, take some time to consider whether you’ve got the right person in the wrong spot or if you just have the wrong person.
3. Terminate them. If you’ve redoubled your efforts to train them but still see no improvement, and you’ve tried changing their responsibilities or transferring them to another department entirely but underperformance continues to be an issue – you’re probably in the place of needing to terminate that person.
Side Note: Don’t jump to the conclusion that underperformance automatically means you need to fire someone. The problem may be on your end, not theirs. If you haven’t clearly communicated expectations in written form you can’t blame someone for not meeting them.