PHL Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Department of Aviation Custodial Worker II Michelle Gilchrist

Department of Aviation Custodial Worker II Michelle Gilchrist recently received the “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” category of Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Employee Recognition Program. This distinction acknowledges employees who create a positive guest experience through service and delivery while collaborating with other organizations.     

MichelleAs a Custodial Worker II, Gilchrist is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the airport terminals and restrooms.  She’s been at PHL for 16 years and works the 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. shift. At PHL, Gilchrist excels in customer-centrism, prioritizing passenger needs, teamwork, transcending expectations, proactive communication, effectiveness, respect, integrity, and courage.  

“I take my job seriously,” said Gilchrist. “I clean it like I would my own home. I like cleaning. I like my job. It’s a rewarding feeling when passengers notice it’s clean.”   

In her nomination of Gilchrist, Custodial Crew Chief Monique Glinton stated, “Michelle is an awesome, outstanding, and outgoing individual. She goes above and beyond to help passengers and ensures they come first. She will walk them to their destination, help them find their loved ones, items, and food. She does an awesome job cleaning and takes pride in her job. She does her job well and helps others at the same time. Michelle represents hospitality at the airport, and she does it all with a smile on her face. I have worked with and alongside Michelle and she has guided and taught me a great deal. I thank her for all that she does!”  

Gilchrist frequently assists passengers with special needs to navigate the airport. She creates a welcoming environment and ensures they feel comfortable. “This job can be very rewarding,” said Gilchrist. “It’s just about recognizing those jewels when they happen.”   

Gilchrist takes pride in her work and has been described by coworkers as hardworking, focused, driven, and being an overall nice person, who would do anything for anyone. She views her coworkers as extended family and enjoys coming to work to see them.    

“Working here is a great experience for me,” said Gilchrist. “It’s not an easy job but I tend to love it. I enjoy watching the planes take off and watching the airfield light up at night. I also love interacting with passengers from different cities and countries.”    

Gilchrist describes herself as a social butterfly who believes kindness goes a long way. She’s a believer in ‘each one, teach one,’ as she’s appreciated learning from different colleagues.  

“It’s a good experience working at the airport,” said Gilchrist. “I’m glad I have had the opportunity to work here and stay here for this long. This place has helped shape me to be who I am. I want to thank Monique for nominating me for this award. I also want to thank my coworker Sahreefah Smith for thinking of me for this recognition.”   

The PHL Employee Recognition Program was established by the airport’s Guest Experience (GX) Department. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the GX Council Steering Committee’s Employee Conduct and Recognition Committee. For more information about the program and to nominate an employee, click here


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