Purpose Story: Transformation at YWCA Chicago

Purpose Story: Transformation at YWCA Chicago

The Story of How YWCA Chicago Leads with Purpose from the Inside Out

When looking at employee engagement, it is easy to simply assume that the mission and impact of the organization is enough create rewarding experiences for all employees. If the goal of the organization is to make a positive meaningful impact, then can’t we simply assume that employees, in turn, will feel fulfilled and satisfied?

This certainly was not what Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, discovered. In 2015, she had Imperative conduct a Workplace Fulfillment Assessment to gain insights into how purpose was manifesting across the agency. Her goal was to uncover opportunities to transform the agency into a thriving modern social enterprise.

According to a recent article from Imperative, the survey revealed key insights into where they needed further investment to empower and grow their team to support a transformation:

“The YWCA, like most nonprofits, had assumed that their incredible mission and impact in the community was enough to fulfill their team. The data, however, showed that the mission alone wasn’t enough – their team also needed to be stretched to grow as people and professionals. They realized that the way they had designed the organization and jobs was optimized for efficiency and as a result had been undermining the growth of their people.”

To further the impact of purpose for the YWCA’s team members, Dorri hired a new Chief Human Resource Officer that revamped the performance management system and created a new employment brand for the YWCA. The new brand is “Unleashing Purpose and Potential” and the new performance management system includes leaders as “Possibility Partners” discussing goals for team members and how they can unleash their purpose and potential at the YWCA.”

Since the results of the survey, YWCA of Chicago has begun to work with Imperative with the goal of transforming the organization from the inside out. The goal is to show how people with purpose can impact their own organization, community, and beyond.

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