A positive corporate culture is vital to the success of any organisation. Nonetheless, it can be severely undermined by destructive behaviours. In particular, absenteeism, presenteeism, and leaveism have proved to be the three of the most destructive factors to company culture, eroding morale and decreasing productivity.

They also reflect and contribute to employees’ subpar mental health and well-being. To cultivate a healthier, more engaged, and more productive work environment, organisations must comprehend these phenomena and implement effective people management strategies.


Absenteeism alludes to an employee’s habitual non-attendance at work. Although intermittent absences due to illness or personal issues are to be expected, chronic absenteeism may indicate a more serious issue. It frequently results from job dissatisfaction, a toxic work environment, or personal issues, such as poor mental health.

Organisations can combat absenteeism by emphasising employee engagement and contentment. Regular feedback sessions, a clear path for career advancement, and assistance with personal concerns can help employees feel more connected to and committed to their work. In addition to reducing absenteeism, flexible work arrangements enable employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

Investing in the mental welfare of employees is also crucial. This may involve providing access to counselling services, promoting mental health awareness, or creating a supportive workplace where employees feel secure discussing any problems they may be experiencing.


Presenteeism, on the other hand, is the act of showing up to work while physically or mentally ill. On the surface, it may appear productive, but it frequently results in decreased productivity, poor work quality, and possible health hazards for other employees. Multiple factors can contribute to presenteeism, including job insecurity, a heavy workload, and a company culture that discourages taking sick leave.

To combat presenteeism, a culture that values employee health and well-being must be fostered. Employers can promote a balanced burden and encourage employees to take sick days when necessary. In addition, policies should be implemented to prevent employees from being penalised or stigmatised for taking medical leave. Moreover, fostering mental health and providing support for those struggling with mental health issues can aid in reducing presenteeism.


Leaveism, the least well-known of the three, refers to employees who use the allotted time off, such as annual leave, to complete work-related tasks or to work while they are supposed to be on leave. This behaviour is frequently motivated by an excessive workload, the fear of falling behind, or the blurring of the line between work and personal life, particularly with the rise of remote work.

Organisations can combat leaveism by promoting a clear separation between work and personal time. This may involve establishing explicit expectations regarding work hours and ensuring that employees feel at ease taking their entire annual leave. It is also essential to effectively manage employee workloads so that they do not feel overburdened and resort to working during their time off.

Better People Management

To combat these destroyers of company culture, organisations must prioritise improved people management. This involves fostering open channels of communication, providing regular feedback, and promoting a culture that is supportive and inclusive. Employees should feel appreciated, valued, and heard.

Regular check-ins and one-on-ones where employees can convey their concerns and needs are one way to achieve this. This can aid in identifying prospective problems prior to their escalation and provide opportunities for preventative action.

In addition, it is essential to establish a workplace culture that promotes work-life balance, respects personal time, and highlights the significance of mental health. The provision of resources for stress management, counselling services, and mental health days can significantly enhance the overall well-being and job satisfaction of employees.

In conclusion, by recognising and addressing the underlying causes of absenteeism, presenteeism and leaveism can be reduced.