Not only does Navakai lead the way with its creative, client-focused culture and environment, the IT consulting company is also setting trends with its wellness program. Navakai, a Colorado Springs-based business, started its homegrown program in 2012 after deciding an insurance-provided corporate wellness program didn’t fit its culture.

Navakai employees and the company’s clients can participate in several programs to improve mental and physical health, which includes the Navakai running club, chair massages, smoothie days, rooftop classes that range from yoga to hip-hop, and corporate wellness challenges with other companies.

Navakai’s wellness program has contributed to the company’s culture, co-founder Davin Neubacher said.

“I think we already have been building this culture over the years and the wellness program was just, like, an outward sign of our inward culture; it was a visible display of what’s behind the scenes,” Neubacher said. “We wanted some really fun, unique, different things in our program that these off-the-shelf canned programs did not offer — plus they’re kind of impersonal. We’re a small enough company where we wanted to customize it and kind of do it ourselves.”

This is the first year Navakai has started doing yoga, tai chi and hip-hop classes that employees and clients can attend together, Neubacher said.

On average, about 12 of Navakai’s clients join staff for a weekly run downtown every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Navakai’s office dog, Kona, comes along.

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“That really is not as much for wellness as it is to connect our techs to the people they’re supporting every day,” Neubacher said. “You’ve exercised with someone before, right? You bond quick. … For us that’s kind of the drive behind it, but the byproduct is, of course, wellness.”

If employees meet the monthly step challenge, they can earn a $25 Amazon gift card every month. Each employee has to reach the daily goal of exercising at least 10,000 steps.

Fitness bracelets like Fitbit and Garmin are provided by the company once the employee has stayed in the wellness program for 60 days. Through the phone app Walker Tracker, Navakai employees can convert whatever workout they do into steps to keep track of their points.

Additionally, every desk in the office is a stand-up desk, and the employees fight to use the company’s desk-elliptical, desk-treadmill and the stationary bike, which can be used while at a desk.

Clients who bike can also receive a Navakai kit, which includes a bicycle shirt and shorts.

Neubacher added that ProCycling, a bicycle shop in Colorado Springs that sells bikes and provides multiple services for cyclists, sponsors Navakai’s wellness program so all employees and their families receive discounts at the shop.

In addition to staying active, Navakai encourages employees to improve their diets, nutrition and mental health.

Neubacher said other small businesses should look into creating their own wellness program.

Businesses interested in creating their own plan can access Navakai’s wellness program on its website, navakai.com, Neubacher said.

“We share everything, full transparency, with clients and with staff … there’s no real hidden secrets about our company and there’s no secret sauce,” Neubacher said. “People ask, ‘Oh, how do you guys have all this and do all this?’ It kind of just happens, it’s not premeditated.”

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