I find your “clock-watcher” description extremely disrespectful. These are human beings we are talking about. For many people a job is just that: a job, and they will only do what they get paid for. More often than not, these people have an extremely taxing life outside of work, and can’t afford to put any additional energy into their job. They simply do not have that luxury.
No, those our not our favourite team members, but as long as they do not have a negative impact on the team, it’s not them that are toxic but the managers that treat them like crap. It will merely cause them to retreat even more.
A-Players on the other hand can often be A-holes, creating a toxic work environment for everybody else. Losing your A-players is not a managers worst nightmare. Having your team fall apart is, and that doesn’t exclusively happen at the “A” end of the spectrum.
Don’t pamper your A-Players just because you’re focused on short term KPI’s instead of sustainable results. All the players matter in a team.