In our IT Leadership Alchemy programs, we discuss the challenge of the C+ team member. A year ago, I facilitated an IT session to reduce headcount by 15%. I asked all the team leaders to write on a Post-It the number of people on their staff who were C+ team members (defined as usually minimal work but occasionally surprised you with a B+ performance which made you re-evaluate letting them go). The total was over 20% of the staff. Moving someone on doesn't mean they are a bad person. The person struggling may be in the wrong job and using an RMA Job Benchmark when hiring reduces that likelihood. What performance are we accepting because we don't have time to do anything about it? What does that person's performance do to the rest of the team? How do we know when to stop coaching and find a better resource?
Coach Crean's answer was simple- you stop when they aren't willing to do the work to get better. He recently quietly released the two men for that reason, after working with them for nine months. No press, no media, no embarrassment- just moving on. Whether moving on one of your staff or yourself to another position, consider willingness to do the work as the criteria for change.