In 2016, Bayada Home Health Care founder and then-President Mark Baiada announced he was transitioning his company to a not-for-profit model, essentially giving it away to a newly created charity organization. That ongoing transition is “right at the finish line,” Baiada told Home Health Care News.
And Moorestown, New Jersey-based Bayada — one of the largest home health companies in the United States — is thanking its thousands of employees for their years of service in a very big way as it nears completion of the transition process.
Baiada on Tuesday gathered more than 100 employees at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia — a block away from where the founder opened his first Bayada service office in 1975 — and surprised them with an announcement he would be giving away $20 million.
“I’m giving the company away to a non-profit in January,” Baiada told HHCN. “I’ve reflected back on my time at Bayada — 43 years — and the reason why we have something to give away is because of the wonderful people I’ve worked with for so long. Before I give the whole thing away, I wanted to give some to them.”
The $20 million gift from Baiada will be split among roughly 32,000 Bayada employees past and present. Individual gifts will vary based on each employee’s lifetime earnings with the company.
Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, home health aides, therapists, associates, client services managers, clinical managers, office support and other employees who have spent less than a week with Bayada will receive $50. Those who have racked up decades of service with the home health provider — even if they are no longer with the company — will receive several thousands of dollars.
The largest individual gift will be about $15,000, according to Baiada.
“Anybody who has 25 years of service — all the way back to 2010 — will be getting a gift,” Baiada said. “Even if they left.”
Bayada — which provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, habilitation, primary care and assistive care services to children and older adults — currently employs about 26,000 workers across 22 states. Bayada also maintains operations in Germany, India, Ireland and South Korea.
The $20 million giveaway is a high-profile gesture of employee recognition at a time when home health providers are battling hard to recruit and retain workers. Creating an attractive culture for talented workers is the central tenet of Bayada’s business strategy, CEO David Baiada — Mark Baiada’s son — told HHCN earlier this year.
“Most of our focus on adaptation is, we experiment a lot, but at the end of the day, are you creative and entrepreneurial and determined to find the best people and create an environment they want to be a part of? [That comes down to] really core components of our culture,” David Baiada said.
Mark Baiada officially stepped down as Bayada president in August 2017 to oversee the company’s transition to nonprofit as chairman. The evolving roles of Mark and David Baiada – along with the business model restructuring — were part of the home-based care provider’s “Lasting Legacy” succession plan.
In general, the succession plan is meant to ensure that Bayada will remain focused on its mission, based in family-owned values and likely to remain operational for the next 100 years. Along those lines, it is also meant to protect the company against any sort of future sale.
While the transition is expected to be completed in January, it has not been without its fair share of speed bumps, Mark Baiada said.
“I was surprised about the regulatory burden, plus the taxes. I have to pay taxes to give [the company] away,” he said. “It was a lot more rigor than you would have figured.”
The newly formed nonprofit organization receiving Bayada ownership is incorporated in Delaware and has received 501(c)(3) status. The decision to gift $20 million to Bayada employees was in no way a requirement of the transition process, Baiada said.
“It was a way to say thank you,” he said. “We’ve long held that employees are our greatest asset. We should reward those people.”
The $20 million gift to Bayada employees is more than 1,000 times the amount it took for Baiada to open up his first service office. It is also reflective of the growth the Bayada business has achieved over the years, as its revenues reportedly check in somewhere around $1.2 billion.
Written by Robert Holly