Working to develop a team and planning for hosted events.
In April, Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) had the chance to visit with Michael Rolfe of St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
Starting at a young age, Rolfe, born in Wisconsin, actually began in the cleaning industry working alongside his father as he started a franchise with Service Master.
Rolfe decided to attend a college in New York, where he met his future wife, and staying in New York allowed him to start his professional path in the cleaning industry with St. John Fisher College.
After starting out as an entry level housekeeper, Rolfe is currently the housekeeping manager for the College.
After almost 25 years with Fisher, Rolfe has seen the industry change at a high rate of speed.
This advancement includes the automation of equipment and the newest levels of smart phone apps.
“Cleaning for appearance only has become a thing of the past. The industry has gone toward cleaning for health and safety,” Rolfe states.
According to Rolfe, the implementation of new technology has helped with the health and safety standards at the College.
The implementation of the Hillyard C3 cleaning companion has helped to speed up the process of project-style restroom care.
As the College has grown, it has become exclusive with Hillyard’s product line; after the process of trial and error, Fisher has found a solid line of products.
Every job comes with challenges, and as a housekeeping manager, Rolfe’s biggest challenge remains staffing.
Although Rolfe has a solid team around him, it didn’t come easily.
“As a manager, we try to find someone who is enthusiastic and self-motivated and who will fit in with our team,” Rolfe states.
Housekeeping employees are there for the students, faculty and staff, and cleaning is just cleaning without the people behind the tools.
As people are the heart of any solid custodial team, Rolfe has worked with many individuals over the years.
A Success Story
One of the most successful employee examples Rolfe recalls from his tenure at the College is one of his right-hand men, Lorenzo Morrison.
Morrision started as a housekeeper at the College.
Rolfe recalls both of their career paths, and he has seen Lorenzo grow and develop into a team leader over the years.
To motivate employees, Rolfe and Lorenzo know the importance of leading by example.
They feel if they are working with their team, staff tends to respond in a positive manner.
As they face the challenges of many hosted events, such as the Buffalo Bills Training Camp, their team can be stretched thin at times.
Rolfe and Lorenzo have earned the respect of their team by working with them during these challenging times.
Rolfe and his team realize the importance of training and the positive impact it makes on a facility.
Over the past few years, Rolfe has worked with Hillyard to obtain training materials and has created a small training area in their warehouse.
Each member of the team must go through continual training during their employment with the College.
Now, Rolfe has registered with CMI’s Train the Trainer course to help improve the College's team even further.
Looking to enhance his personal skill set and bring best practices back to the team, Rolfe will take this three-day course in Albany, New York.