By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — In 1997, entrepreneur Brian Fayak was just getting Nextep Inc., a professional employer service, started.
Fayak had been working out of his sister’s house in west Norman and was delighted when the opportunity came to rent an executive suite in the new Dillard Building — a 35,524-square-foot landmark structure at 1800 N. Interstate Drive.
Over the years, Nextep has continued to grow and has inhabited other locations along the way.
Today, Nextep is back at 1800 N. Interstate Drive, but with one difference — Fayak owns the three-story office building, which now bears the Nextep name. Nextep officially moved into the new corporate headquarters March 31.
“The purchase and relocation to the new building signifies Nextep’s long-term commitment to Norman as our national technology center and corporate headquarters,” said Fayak, who serves as the chief visionary officer.
The larger space is intended to fuel Nextep’s growth initiative and support the company’s local staff, according to a recent company press release.
The Affordable Care Act is fueling a portion of Nextep’s growth. The company’s Benefits Manager Shelley Hopper is well schooled on the many regulations and requirements of the current health reform. Hopper and other members of the Nextep team are ready to help Nextep clients make a smooth transition.
As a professional employer service, Nextep helps small- to medium-sized businesses by serving as the employer of record for legal and tax purposes. This gives small companies buying power in the insurance and other markets they wouldn’t have otherwise. Nextep works to ensure regulatory compliance and provides traditional human resources functions.
Nextep clients remain worksite employers with executive control at their respective locations. With Nextep managing human resources and benefits issues, businesses can focus on their areas of expertise without the burden of keeping up requirements regarding workers comp and health care.
“The more complex the regulations become that weigh down a small business owner, the more valuable our services become,” President and CEO Thomas Shehan said. “We provide expertise in an environment of changing regulations.”
While clients pay for this service, it’s an investment Nextep leadership said pays off.
“We reduce clients’ actual hard cost,” Shehan said.
The new headquarters is a boon for Nextep employees and Nextep clients. All of the data Nextep manages for their clients is monitored and kept secure at the new headquarters.
The data also is backed up offsite in a bunker that can sustain an EF-5 tornado and provide immediate backup should a tornado or other disaster hit the new Nextep building. These features provide disaster recovery and business continuity for Nextep and its clients.
The newly remodeled Nextep building also brings quality-of-life employment to the one worksite where Nextep is the site employer, setting a standard that draws and supports top personnel. The high-tech, modern space was deliberately designed to make Nextep employees feel comfortable and engaged.
“It’s a choice to provide a great work space that drives employee morale,” Fayak said. “Being voted ‘Best Place to Work in Oklahoma’ three times doesn’t happen by accident — it’s a result of an employer of choice strategy.”
The building features an open floor plan that relies heavily on natural lighting, technologically advanced work stations, meeting rooms, and bright and modern decorative elements. A room where employees can rest and a lactating room for mothers was incorporated into the newly remodeled space. The employee breakroom encourages interoffice communication and engagement.
Nextep leadership said they encourage a cooperative workplace community and a family supportive environment. Providing an environment that makes that culture possible is a reflection of Nextep’s corporate values.
For more information, visit nextep.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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