Although many businesses across the country have taken a hit due to the recession, the staff at Next Element in Newton haven’t let a down economy discourage them.


Although many businesses across the country have taken a hit due to the recession, the staff at Next Element in Newton haven’t let a down economy discourage them.
They started the company four years ago in order to bring a unique consulting service to the community, and they have grown every year since they opened.
“We’re not participating in the recession,” Next Element staff member Jamie Remsberg said with a laugh.
Next Element, which provides services both locally and internationally, is in the business of communication — or rather, helping businesses and other organizations develop more effective communication.
“We provide communication skills to help organizations in the community run more effectively,” staff member Nate Regier said. “We help people reduce drama. We really get serious about the tools and techniques to help tackle drama to help things run more smoothly.”
They’ve worked with business, schools, hospitals and other organizations, and they use a tool called the “Process Communication Model.”
Next Element conducts group training sessions that include classroom time and personal coaching to help people apply the skills they’ve learned. They also work one-on-one with executives to help them become better leaders.
Next Element staff said they do more than just an assessment of companies; they get to know the company culture and find out what employees are struggling with. They host some training sessions at their office and also do some training on-site at businesses, depending on the needs of the company.
They also take a multi-media approach; in addition to working with clients face-to-face, they communicate with clients over the phone, through email and even online video chats on sites such as Skype or Google+ Hangouts.

Conflict and communication
Staff member Jeff King said the company’s training isn’t just about conflict resolution: It’s about developing leaders and communication skills.
Regier said conflict can’t always be avoided in the workplace, but people can find a way to work through problems in a smooth, positive and professional manner.
Although Next Element’s training often is targeted to helping people function more effectively in a work environment, Regier said clients have told him they were able to apply the training to their personal lives and improve their relationships with spouses, children, church members, etc.
“The tools we provide are really life skills for having more effective relationships,” he said.
This also can come full circle and come back around to help a business, staff member Michele Ediger said. If employees have better home lives, they’ll feel better and be more productive when they come to work.

Global approach
Although Next Element is based in Newton, it does have an international presence.
Next Element staff said about 50 percent of their clients are local, and the rest are national or even international. They’ve worked with clients across the United States and in France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada.
They said per month, they typically bring in about 8 to 10 people from outside the state to Newton. Those clients also spend money at other merchants in town, providing an additional boost to the local economy.
Staff said the company is excited about looking towards the future, and they plan to add more staff in the next year.
Regier said the company’s goal isn’t necessarily to make clients “feel good”; his aim is to help people make lasting changes that will better their careers and their lives in the long run.
“It’s hard work,” he said. “We’re in the trenches with companies through thick and thin. ... It’s so rewarding, watching people change.”
For more information about the business, visit www.next-element.com.