Home health care is, arguably, one of the most thankless jobs. You work long hours, do a lot of dirty work, and provide physical and emotional care for clients and families. In an unusual move, the chairman and founder of a home health care company has decided to show gratitude to the employees who made his business great – by sharing some of the profits.
Bayada Home Health Care, based in Moorestown, New Jersey, is preparing to transition into a nonprofit.
Chairman and founder Mark Baiada, a man clearly more interested in care than profit, explains that “I don’t really need the money,” so he’s turning the private nursing service into a “mission-driven” nonprofit.
“We’re putting mission over money,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
But first, he wanted to thank his employees. So he took $20 million and divided it between 32,000 employees (including some who are already retired), based on the number of years they’d worked for Bayada.
Brand new caregivers received $50, while some long-time employees took home tens of thousands.
“I wanted to show some gratitude to everybody for all the hard work you’ve done taking care of our clients,” he announced to a stunned crowd of employees surprised during a luncheon at Philadelphia’s Bellevue Hotel.
Baiada’s wife, a fan of The Bachelor, called the announcement “better than the most dramatic rose ceremony ever.”
The generous kick-back will likely have the positive side effect of generating loyalty to the company. Nicole Green, a pediatric nurse with Bayada for three years, says “I’ve only worked at Bayada a short time but I’m a lifelong employee now.” Green plans to put her share of the gift towards her daughter’s college tuition.
“Everyone was in awe. Mark totally surprised us,” said Green. “He didn’t have to do this.”
“These are everyday people who work hard in a low-margin service business,” said Baiada. “I’m honored to work with them. I don’t go to patients’ homes much, but my employees are there every day.”