Start-up Johari: Using employee knowledge instead of letting it go to waste

Start-up Johari: Using employee knowledge instead of letting it go to waste

based on the interview by B4B Wirtschaftsleben Schwaben, published on 31.03.2020.

Recognizing employee feedback, knowledge and ideas in a timely manner and using them for the company – that is the idea behind the start-up Johari. Founder Marius Weltz reveals in an interview how their software is designed to help managers find solutions and how they are countering the Corona crisis.

B4B WIRTSCHAFTSLEBEN SCHWABEN: How did the idea for Johari come about?

Marius Weltz: We recognized a need among the companies we had served in our previous job. The solution then continued to grow through customer impulses.

How did the company name “Johari” come about? What is behind it?

Marius Weltz: The name is inspired by the Johari Window, developed by the American social psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. The model is about differences between self-perception and the perception of others. The focus is essentially on blind spots.

Our goal at Johari is to uncover blind spots in companies. We want to make important impulses, such as ideas, feedback and knowledge, which often arises directly in the daily business, recognizable and usable in a goal-oriented way. Furthermore, it is about recognizing suitable lessons learned and the appropriate internal experts in order to have them automatically at hand for new challenges. With Johari, we offer a way to integrate employees and their know-how in a targeted manner.

What is Johari and how does it work?

Johari optimizes know-how workflows in companies. Employees and managers can proactively contribute operational feedback, problems and challenges at any time. In a further step, these initial impulses can be further structured in digital asynchronous expert rounds within the Johari solution in order to work on solutions across silos and locations. All content is analytically processed and stored in an internal knowledge network. Various analyses and algorithms support managers in finding solutions.

What is Johari Workflow and who needs it?

Johari Workflow enables companies and their managers to identify the knowledge of their employees in time. The software can be used in all operational areas of a company, as employees there constantly have feedback, questions and problems in their daily work. Johari provides immediate help with appropriate lessons learned and expert recommendations. These are also made visible to management in a structured way with the Johari Workflow. More complex topics can be developed solution orientedly across sites and silos in the asynchronous expert rounds. Johari specializes in identifying, linking, further developing and documenting employee knowledge and thus offers managers and employees of a company a unique know-how workflow.

How important is it to involve all employees in solution processes?

Involving the right employees directly in day-to-day activities is very important! However, a platform is needed to do this in a targeted manner. In this way, expertise is not lost and know-how is recognized in time. In the same way, it must be as easy as possible to involve employees from different teams in the development of solutions. Only in this way can synergy effects of employees be used as quickly and efficiently as possible in the case of operational challenges.

What role does employee know-how play in operations?

In order to be able to perform in the operational business, problems and challenges in the day-to-day business must be solved quickly. This requires employee know-how. Employees who work at the heart of the action gain experience and knowledge. This makes them and their documented know-how the company’s most important resources. It is therefore crucial to involve them in a targeted manner in the company’s internal processes and thus make the best possible use of internal knowledge.

Many say that start-ups from the digitalization sector are better supported than others. Can you confirm that?

Johari is a member of the Digital Center Swabia. We enjoy excellent support here. Here, we largely deal with startups from the digital sector. Accordingly, we have little experience when it comes to supporting startups in other industries. 

As a start-up, you are certainly particularly affected by the Corona crisis. How are you dealing with the crisis?

We are now concentrating fully on existing customers and upcoming projects. With the focus on our customers and the further development of our solution, we will emerge from the crisis stronger.