I agree that communication can be a big problem, but often that does not originate with first-line managers; they may be under orders not to share. The secrecy over the silliest things often amazes me.
One solution to the "freeloader" problem that one boss I worked for always stressed was finding the right job for each individual. He took the time to access his "problem children" and more often that not found tasks that they could and would excel at. He was an excellent manager; not all are.
The number of hoops a manager has to jump thru in the Federal system for any punitive action is rarely worth the time or trouble. These "freeloaders" are then marginalized; put where they can do no harm. Yes, they still get paid, but they get no bonuses or promotions. It's probably just best to mind your own career...