Rekha Daniel-Kimani heads Total Rewards, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Strategic Human Resources Growth of BAYADA Home Health Care. Daniel-Kimani joined BAYADA in 2017 as director of benefits and compensation, and then in January 2022, Daniel-Kimani became head of total rewards, DEI, and HR strategy to ensure employees are effectively compensated and recognized and to help both current and prospective employees find their unique connection to BAYADA’s mission and values.
Daniel-Kimani is a certified diversity executive with professional certificates in compensation, benefits, human resources, and global remuneration. She earned her bachelor’s degree in commerce from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Rekha Daniel-Kimani is an important leader in nursing diversity, and we’re pleased to profile her as part of the Champions of Nursing Diversity Series 2023.
The series highlights healthcare leaders who are prominent figures in their organizations and are making transformational impacts in nursing.
Meet Rekha Daniel-Kimani, the head of Total Rewards, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Strategic Human Resources Growth of BAYADA Home Health Care.
Talk about your role at BAYADA Home Health Care.
My role at BAYADA is head of total rewards, diversity, equity and inclusion, and strategic human resources growth. While the title is long, the purpose is simple: I care for our greatest asset—our talent. I help make sure our clinicians and caretakers who care for millions of clients worldwide feel that they are personally connected to our mission and values, that they experience a sense of inclusion and belonging, and that they are compensated fairly.
How long have you worked in this field?
I have worked in various HR roles for more than 23 years and have spent six years in healthcare.
How do you support nurses in your role?
Without our clinicians and caregivers, we wouldn’t be able to execute our mission—to help people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity. They are our largest employee population at BAYADA. I make sure to have a pulse on what they are looking for from a rewards perspective. Expectations have changed with the staffing shortages facing the industry and COVID. I want to understand the needs of different nursing populations and bring a well-rounded global perspective to meeting the needs of our nurses and caregivers.
Why did you choose this field?
I’m privileged to have fallen into the home health care industry. I love this industry, and I love what I do. When I began to learn more about BAYADA, I discovered a personal connection: my family had utilized BAYADA to care for my niece. Over the last six years, I’ve had the opportunity to showcase the vital work BAYADA does. I’m continually floored by our nurses and caregivers and their incredible impact on our clients and their families. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
What are the most important attributes of today’s nursing leaders?
The core values of The BAYADA way—compassion, excellence, and reliability—embody the most essential attributes of today’s nursing leaders. Every home health nurse is a leader each time they walk through the door of a client’s home. They handle the entire client experience, from making the family feel at ease to caring for the client to mapping out a care plan. They are constantly challenged with innovating and responding to the demands of a given moment. That is leadership.
What does being a healthcare leader mean to you, and what are you most proud of?
Being a healthcare leader means listening closely to understand the intricacies of a challenge, thinking up out-of-the-box solutions, and asking for the expert advice of colleagues. At BAYADA, we don’t hesitate to ask for help or seek opportunities to improve.
I am most proud of our continued progression around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at BAYADA. It’s authentic and grassroots; it’s woven into the experiences of our employees, who play a crucial role in shaping our DEIB program. We regularly solicit employee feedback and act on it. One example is infusing DEIB education into our “White Shoes, White Cap” program. This one-day symposium brings together caregivers and clinicians within a region to network, share best practices, and support one another.
Tell us about your career path and how you ascended to that role.
I started my career as an HR intern and have worked my way across and up the career ladder in pharmaceuticals, energy, consumer goods, financial services, and higher education. My experience in pharmaceuticals gave me my first look into health care and how it touches our lives in many ways. Over the last six years at BAYADA, I have fallen in love with home health care. I see daily how our nurses positively affect the lives of others. It’s a privilege to support them.
What is the most significant challenge facing nurses today?
As a human resources professional supporting nurses, the most significant challenge I see our caregivers face is finding a balance between their personal lives and a job they love that demands their all. In addition, we’re experiencing an ongoing and significant nursing shortage.
As a leader, how are you working to overcome this challenge?
It’s critical to model the behavior you want to see in your employees. You must continuously listen and improve as needs and expectations evolve over time and across nursing and client populations. We must look strategically at the root causes of the nursing shortage and start solving it holistically.
What healthcare leader inspires you the most and why?
I am inspired by the many heroes here at BAYADA who serve our clients daily with compassion, excellence, and reliability. Their dedication to improving our clients’ lives is fuel for me to show up and do my best to make them feel cared for and supported.
What inspirational message would you like to share with the next generation of nurses?
Thank you for following your passion and heart. I understand you may not always be shown the appreciation you deserve, but I hope you know how valued you are—your impact is profound. Your kindness, the extra moment you take to laugh and smile with your patients, has a positive effect that cannot be quantified. While you may feel unsure, you are building an enduring legacy.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Give a moment to thank a nurse—tell them they are appreciated!
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