Case Studies

Nicole Hughes – PCRK Group

Massaging away construction pain points

For Nicole Hughes, even seemingly minor details, like a hook on a door, can make a major difference.

“When most people plan a build-out or remodel, they may first consider larger elements, like installing cabinetry or replacing outdated carpeting with new flooring,” says Hughes, the director of construction and facilities with PCRK Group, the owner and operator of Massage Envy. “While working on our projects, I’ve learned that even the smallest things can be just as important.”

She says that Massage Envy franchises are generally on a 10-year remodel cycle—barring unexpected circumstances like a global pandemic. While the brand decides on remodeling specifications, she visits each location to conduct “scope walks.” Speaking with the regional operations directors, managers and service providers, she learns about what works and what needs to be fixed.

Nicole Hughes | Director of Construction and Facilities | PCRK Group

Nicole Hughes | Director of Construction and Facilities | PCRK Group

While going through her scope walk at one Massage Envy location, she noticed that massage therapists and estheticians didn’t have a designated spot to place their bolsters—the firm pillows that go under the knees of clients when they’re on the table. When Hughes asked where they put the bolsters, their answers surprised her. Some laid them on chairs. Others, on top of a counter. Some used the hook intended for client use.

“Of all the amazing updates we implemented at that location—and others—I discovered that the majority of our team members were the most excited about a $3 bolster hook,” she says.

Scheduling success

Hughes developed and now maintains PCRK Group’s refresh program. When she originally joined as a business integration manager in early 2019, the group had 28 franchise locations throughout the country. By the time she was promoted to her current role in 2021, the number of locations had tripled. By then, Hughes had established the 10-year plan and was entering the newly acquired Massage Envy locations into the schedule.

Six months into her promotion, she also started addressing the existing facilities management systems, like how team members placed work orders, which had been done in a somewhat haphazard way without standardization.

“My team and I focus on creating and sustaining a comfortable physical environment for team members, clients and guests,” she says. “To effectively deliver on that goal, we need to have the right systems, processes and partners in place.”

Nicole Hughes | Director of Construction and Facilities | PCRK Group

The goal, Hughes further explains, was to support service providers, front desk associate and managers, so they could show up to work and focus on their daily tasks instead of worrying about facility and maintenance issues. She provided step-by-step guidance to address and resolve common maintenance issues.

When processes, like vendor procurement and work order management, required a financial investment, she took her ideas to the executive team.

“I explained the why, along with the traditional and non-traditional returns, we could expect on our investment,” she says. “They were in full support, and we’re currently in the midst of implementations.”

Function in facilities and beyond

Hughes isn’t just spending time behind a desk, where she schedules franchise remodels and sources the right vendors. She prefers being on location, too.

“I’m there in workout clothes and tennis shoes with the team putting things back together on what we call Reset Day,” she says. “I like being actively involved and feel I learn the most for future projects this way.” She adds that it’s rewarding to see not only team members’ reaction but also those of clients when they first view the remodeled space.

Nicole Hughes | Director of Construction and Facilities | PCRK Group

Hughes credits her knack for relationship-building—with colleagues and vendor partners—in helping broaden her role at PCRK.

“It’s important to me to approach people as people, not as pieces of a transaction,” she says. “We all ultimately have a common goal, and my intention is that we are able to navigate and enjoy working on projects together.”

From mountain to eagle pose

In a somewhat roundabout way, Hughes’ was meant to land at PCRK.

“I’ve always loved the idea of being in service to others—working with and for people,” Hughes says. “I considered joining the Peace Corps, and though I didn’t make that a career, I never lost my passion for working in an environment where human comfort and peace is highly valued.”

After first attending Eastern Michigan University and ultimately graduating from Baker College with a bachelor’s in business administration, Hughes chose positions where the employers’ interests and values matched her own—she worked at Pet Supplies Plus, also in the franchising realm, for instance.

Nicole Hughes | Director of Construction and Facilities | PCRK Group

Outside of work, she finds peace through practicing yoga and even obtained her Registered Yoga Teacher 200 Yoga Teacher Certification in June 2020. She sees yoga as a way of life—the bringing together of mind, body and spirit to help navigate life’s challenges. While Hughe’s she doesn’t currently teach classes, she is able to apply the principles daily.

Indeed, her deep appreciation for yoga, self-care and healing modalities is what led her to search for a position with the Massage Envy brand.

“My role at PCRK Group is one of service and support for a concept which positively impacts people: Clients and team members and those with whom they interact,” she says. “I feel that every day I am actively participating in affecting positive change and serving communities—and that is my true north.”

View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. IV 2022 Edition here.

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