If you've managed groups of people you would know that for every motivated and hard working person out there there is a malingerer who wants a paycheck but doesn't really want to do any work.
While this is true, the reality is that the person's co-workers are quite capable of spotting this without any manager's help. If they are empowered to do something about it, they can.
I don't know if you've had the pleasure of dealing with fraudulent worker's comp claims. I have.
Yes, so have I. I've also seen companies that go out of their way to duck valid worker's comp claims. Either way, this isn't a task for group managers to deal with. Worker's comp, at least in IT, is about the health and welfare of the individual. The essence of management, as typically constituted, is to steer the group in the direction of the desired goals. Health and welfare really ought to be dealt with elsewhere in the structure than the group management (assuming that management is actually required, which may or may not be the case, depending on many factors.)
McDonald's [...] Pay is low, the work is tiring and boring, and your co-workers are rarely bright and motivated. [...] And that's ok as long as you know what to expect from them and build the business accordingly.
No, it's not okay. It's almost a perfect example of worker exploitation. They should be paid enough and work allocated in such a way as to make the job a pleasure to do. By low-balling benefits, pay and tasking, providing no reasonable breaks, and seeing to it that there is very little opportunity or reason to dedicate one's self to doing a good job, management inherently takes on the role of exploiter in order to make things work "anyway." And it shows -- how may times have customers seen the patty slopped halfway onto the bun, the condiments in a ridiculous pile on some small fraction of the patty, the orders missing something or containing something that wasn't ordered? That's a direct consequence of making people suffer in their jobs. Not of the job being inherently difficult.
Now, you can (and many do) argue that in order to keep that hamburger at a dollar, you have to exploit the workforce. The problem, as I see it, is that large numbers of citizens are earning so little as to make it so that an increase of a few dollars a day in meal costs represent a significant, even critical, impact on their overall income. This, while McDonald's executives earn millions of dollars per year.
We are never going to fix this unless we restrict the highly unbalanced upwards flow of money into the hands of those who hold the controlling reins of these organizations. In other words, owners, CEOs and yes, managers. This will probably happen, but only because these upscale jobs will be automated out of existence. Otherwise, greed, hubris and a blatant disregard for worker welfare will continue to make jobs such as fast food jobs your basic employee's nightmare.