There are many ways to manicure a tree. Unwanted branches can be hacked off or buds can be nipped.
On a team, when performance does not meet expectations, it creates a gap. It’s the performance/expectation gap. In the near term, the gap is short and our options-to-fix are many.
As a manager, the longer you procrastinate the fix, the wider the gap becomes. In the long term, with a wider gap, the dissatisfaction is greater and our options-to-fix are fewer.
Nip the bud or hack the branch.