Danae Presents Dr. Yasemin Tahris

Danae Presents Dr. Yasemin Tahris
Dr. Yasemin Tahris

Dr. Yasemin Tahris, Co-Founder of FLOWIT AG

A Passion for People

Inspiration is everything. Inspiration opens the door to innovation and motivates us to carry on and pursue our goals. And the best source of inspiration are inspiring humans! This is why I visit inspiring people every once in a while to get a healthy dose of inspiration.

One such outstandingly inspiring human is Dr. Yasemin Tahris. Yasemin is a psychologist and passionate HR specialist whose life is fully centered on people – as a mother, as a professional, and as a serial entrepreneur.

Yasemin lives with her husband and two daughters in a quiet area to the north of Zurich. I visit her at home while she spends a warm late-summer afternoon with her girls in their garden. We sit down in their lounge for a cup of coffee and enjoy the peace of the moment before Yasemin starts to tell me more about the beginning of her career.

Yasemin’s Important First Step

Yasemin was raised between two cultures in a Swiss-Turkish family in a suburb of Zurich. She began her career as a nurse, a job that she would choose again, she says, because it allowed her to work with and for people. Yet while Yasemin enjoyed the job itself, she also experienced first-hand how strict hierarchical management structures often negatively impact team spirit and employee satisfaction. She observed that health workers with higher self-efficacy coped better with the challenges of their demanding job.

It was this early understanding of people management and team development that motivated Yasemin to study applied psychology after she had completed her vocational degree.

And even during her time at university, Yasemin never stopped working. She first coached unemployed healthcare professionals on their way back into a job at Soziale Unternehmungen Zürich, an organization into which she also invested at a later stage. At the same time, Yasemin developed HR strategies for ARTEK AG, the growing family business. And as her passion for people development grew, she decided to pursue a DBA in organizational psychology.

“It wasn’t an easy decision”, she recalls, “because I was pregnant with my first daughter.” Luckily, her MA thesis supervisor Andrea Rögner introduced Yasemin to the DBA program in organizational psychology at Middlesex University London. This highly flexible postgraduate program made it possible for Yasemin to continue her professional career while starting a family.

“It got really tough with the kids sometimes,” she says, “but the fact that my family always supported my efforts helped a lot. I wouldn’t have managed to achieve all this without the full support of my husband and family.”

Revolutionizing HR

As Yasemin became a full-fledged HR specialist, her husband Bilâl Tahris approached her with a concern. He had noticed that appraisal interviews were getting more and more challenging. He found them ineffective because employees seemed to be rather scared of these annual meetings instead of seeing them as beneficial to their professional development. And as the company had grown, data management and internal communication was getting increasingly complex.

This challenge induced Yasemin to develop a revolutionary HR strategy for ARTEK AG with the aim of making employee development more constructive and effective.

She got in touch with Sebastian Heinz, a friend and AI specialist, and asked him to help her develop a tool that would allow them to communicate directly with members of staff and manage people development by means of a human-centered Artificial Intelligence technology. Yasemin’s vision was to make feedback culture as well as individual performance management more fruitful and less cumbersome for all the involved parties.

“One of the main benefits of AI in HR is that giving and receiving orders is not a prime human skill, you know,” Yasemin says with a smile, “while unemotional machines excel at it. This is why AI is great for efficient HR management.” At the same time, it makes it possible for larger organizations to manage a considerable amount of employee-related data efficiently and confidentially.

AI seemed perfect for HR management and seamless internal communication. “This is how FLOWIT AG, my third baby, was born!” Yasemin’s cheerful laugh expresses how much she enjoys her mission because she cares about people. I look at her and happily think that it’s great to have a woman in front of me who has found her place as a mother and as an entrepreneur with a mission.

Human-Centered AI in HR Development

The FLOWIT AG team developed a human-centered AI-based tool that helps employees grow by making internal communication easier and translate messages into a language that each team member understands. At the same time, the technology allows each employee to manage their own professional development.

The timeliness and technological opportunities opened by the tool has taken Yasemin to new spheres. Last year, she was nominated for the FemBiz Award 2021, and in June 2022, FLOWIT AG won the Swiss HR Startup Award.

The FLOWIT AG core team

The FLOWIT AG core team

In addition, Yasemin is also committed to transmitting her expertise to the next generation of HR professionals. She still oversees theses in organizational psychology and strategic HR management at the Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences. “But to be honest, start-up life has me busy and doesn’t allow me to engage in teaching as much as I would like to”, Yasemin explains.

It is, after all, also important for her to spend time with the family. She takes a sip of her coffee and looks for her girls who have disappeared into the house. “I think I enjoy these peaceful Saturday afternoons more than anything else”, she adds.

Yasemin’s career is impressive. As a highly committed and hard-working professional, she has always managed to juggle university, jobs, and investments while becoming a proud and devoted mother of two beautiful girls.

Looking Ahead

It all seems perfect. “So, is there anything you would want to be different for your girls?” I ask.

“Yes.” Yasemin’s answer is clear. “I want them to speak fluent English. I didn’t have the chance to become fluent in English while I was in school, and I want this to be different for them.” English is particularly important now as FLOWIT AG successfully expands into new markets, including the US, and Yasemin is invited to give interviews in English.

But as a specialist in skill development, Yasemin knew a solution to this: her daughters attend an English-speaking kindergarten. This is certainly the best and most effective way for them to become bilingual, a key communicative skill they’ll need in today’s connected world.

Yasemin’s career is a true inspiration. Her achievements show how her powerful combination of passion for people, commitment to a cause, and love for the family makes it possible for her to move mountains.

Thank you for sharing your story, Yasemin!

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About the Author

Consultant | Coach | Writer

Danae Perez is a versatile language expert with vast experience in both research as well as the corporate world and a contagious passion for languages and people. She holds a PhD in linguistics and has published her research on the evolution of languages in multilingual contexts with the most renowned publishing houses. Danae Perez has been providing language services and communication consultancy for corporate clients for nearly two decades and has worked in a myriad of countries, cultures, and industries. She has the rare gift of quickly grasping the essence of a message and putting it into the right words to facilitate communication between people, cultures, and disciplines.