Knowledge Management

Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Corporate Wiki

Building a corporate wiki from scratch is no easy feat. Here are 5 steps to help you along the way.

Introduction

Retaining top talent isn’t easy. No matter how much thought you put into your L&D workshops or top performer awards—employees will inevitably set off for greener pastures. And what happens when they leave? They take all the institutional knowledge they’ve built up over time with them. 

This means new hires will have to learn everything from scratch. This takes a whole lot of time, resources and even money. In fact, businesses report losing a whopping $40.6 million because of slipshod knowledge management. 

The solution is simple: record and store business processes information in one place. Ask experienced employees to contribute, so you have first-hand knowledge on how to execute each task in the most efficient way possible. 

Soon enough, you’ll build up a comprehensive database of information—called a corporate wiki — that employees can use to understand how the company works. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to create a corporate wiki of your own. But first, let’s start with the basics. 

What is a corporate wiki?

With the introduction of the internet, finding information on anything under the sun has become easier than ever. All you need to do is type your question out on Google. Think of a corporate wiki in the same way. But for a specific business.

It acts as a huge central database of information about the company—carrying information like how-to guides, business process documentation, checklists, policies and project info. Creating one is a collaborative process, and each employee can add and edit information, as they please. You can then review it and make necessary tweaks. 

If someone has doubts regarding the execution of an assigned task, they can find helpful information by referring to the company wiki. And when there’s a disagreement between employees about a particular SOP, these data banks act as a single source of truth to fall back on.  

6 Benefits of a corporate wiki

A corporate wiki goes a long way towards helping your team gear up for success. Not only does it streamline knowledge management, but it helps improve business productivity too. Here are six more reasons why you should build a corporate wiki sooner rather than later:

Improved employee onboarding

A killer onboarding process means your employees are 2x less likely to look for new opportunities elsewhere. Always remember: when a new employee joins your team, they’re going to feel like a fish out of water. 

They have zero idea about your company culture, policies, and workflow. And chances are, you won’t be able to cover all the need-to-know information while onboarding them. This is where corporate wikis come handy. 

It provides every new employee with a comprehensive database of information. When in doubt, they can refer back to this and get their questions answered. All with a simple click of a button. What’s more, each wiki also has information on specific business tasks. This gives them a quick snapshot of how to perform their daily tasks efficiently. Convenient, right? 

Improved collaboration

Let’s be real — information silos happen in every organization. This happens when key information from one department isn’t shared with others, leading to information gaps. Sixty percent of employees find it difficult to get information vital to their job from colleagues. 

Evidently, promoting a culture where employees work together can help improve business productivity. Corporate wikis are a great way to do this. Since it’s a collaborative document, all internal team members must come together to contribute information.

They can share their experiences, tips and insights on departmental processes. How does this help? It gives everyone transparency on how each department functions, allowing employees to work as a single unit. 

Enhanced knowledge retention

As employees gain more experience at your company, they find little ways to make their jobs easier. And in turn, become more efficient at what they do. Without a corporate wiki in place, they would leave the organization without documenting these nifty tips and tricks. This leads to a loss in valuable institutional knowledge. 

However, with a corporate wiki, employees leaving your business have a platform where they can pour in all the vital information they learned on the job. Referring to these notes won’t just help their replacements perform better, but it’ll also help refine training documentation for future hires. 

Reduced employee attrition

A business that doesn’t help its employees learn and grow is bound to struggle with high employee attrition in the long run. And if everyone is caught up with hunting down information to complete basic tasks, they won’t have time to upskill. It’s a vicious cycle.  

Good news: corporate wikis can help here. They act as searchable databases employees can refer to when required. This means they can complete tasks quicker and hassle-free. Over time, this fosters a healthy work culture that everyone wants to be a part of. 

Increased productivity

Picture this: You spent half your workday trying to solve a problem. Finally, you figure it out and when you proudly narrate the incident to your co-worker, they give you an alternative 5-minute solution. Talk about a major waste of time. 

Now, think about how easy everything would have been if you could have just looked for this solution in your corporate wiki instead of relying on your colleague? You’d have been able to wrap up your work day a lot quicker and get more done in the process. 

With a wiki, your colleagues get real-time access to the mistakes and workarounds documented by their peers, seniors, and past employees. By taking this guesswork out of the equation, your business productivity is bound to shoot through the roof. 

Organized information

While some organizations document their business processes, they tend to disperse this information across multiple siloed virtual ecosystems. Which makes it hard for employees to find information in a timely manner. . 

A corporate wiki lets them access all the information they need in an instant. It essentially acts like a mini search engine that displays everything one needs to know about the company’s business processes and SOPs. . 

What’s the difference between a corporate wiki & a knowledge base?

In a lot of different corporate ecosystems, corporate wikis and knowledge bases are used almost interchangeably. However, despite the overlaps, these two sources of information are quite different from each other. A knowledge base is usually run by a chosen group of writers and editors who thoroughly vet each piece of information.  

This means your average knowledge base doesn’t allow all employees to contribute. It has a clear content strategy, which means writers post content according to a schedule. 

In some cases, organizations also use knowledge bases to educate customers on their product, services and offerings. For example, Webflow has a comprehensive knowledge base called the Webflow University. It helps customers figure out how to use the product through quick web design courses. 

On the flip side, a corporate wiki is an internal resource that can be created and edited by anyone in the organization. There’s no hierarchy here. It also lets you add links to user-generated content so readers understand the topic more comprehensively.  

5 Steps to building a corporate wiki

Now that you know what a corporate wiki is, and how it can help you—it’s time to build one of your own. You might find this new task a bit daunting at first, but it’s simple enough if you break down the process into smaller steps. Here are the six most important ones: 

Choose a corporate wiki software that works for you.

The right wiki software can go a long way in helping you build a corporate wiki that works for you. Before double down on one, list down your team’s priorities. This will allow you to find a solution that has the right features for your company. 

Since most businesses have started moving towards remote work, it’s always best to opt for a cloud-based solution. A good wiki software should have the following capabilities:

  • Provides a quick and dependable search function.
  • Easy navigation across all layers of content hierarchy 
  • Simple content editing process 
  • Has a collection of pre-existing templates
  • Can integrate with your existing digital ecosystems 
  • Seamless user role management. 

Scribe has all this and more. From allowing you to record a workflow in mere minutes to producing in-depth visual guides for employees—it helps onboard and train employees with ease. Here’s a look at one that demonstrates creating a Slack channel:

Start importing/generating content

You can either build a corporate wiki template from scratch or personalize an existing template. If you’re looking for a quick fix, templates are your go-to option. They come with a ready-made table of contents paired with a few sections and subsections to keep things organized. All you need to do is edit the text and start importing the content you need. 

But this isn’t a one-man show. You’ll need to build a team of active contributors who can help you create this vast repository of knowledge. Give them the responsibility of adding relevant information for the wiki and keeping it updated as the workflow of your team evolves. 

An easy way to find contributors within your teams is by conducting company-wide surveys. Identify people who are enthusiastic about the idea and ask them to come onboard. You can also incentivize them by giving them reward points each time they add information. 

You can also use a Github-inspired gamification model where you measure the time each employee spends on contributing to a corporate wiki. To amp up your incentivization efforts, you can also assign different badges, create a leaderboard or provide financial bonuses to top contributors. The goal is to leverage the process of building a corporate wiki as a means to unify teams and help them achieve more. 

Interlink all your documents 

Adoption is the result of convenience. Your employees will only actively use a corporate wiki if it’s easy for them to navigate through the platform and find relevant information. But more often than not, organizational workflows are interconnected.

Say you’ve got a graphic designer creating social media posts. Once they’re done, it goes to the creative head for approval. And then the social media manager posts it online with the relevant copy. See how each process is connected to the other. From creation to execution. 

To ensure each employee can navigate through these multiple SOPs, it’s always good practice to interlink all relevant documents with each other. You can even go a step further and provide a separate document that lays out the entire content in the form of a mind map or business process flow diagram. 

Configure access rights

Once your preliminary content is added to the wiki, you’ll need to demarcate who can see what. There may be some sensitive information on the wiki that you may not want to disclose to the entire team. So to safeguard your content, you need to configure access rights on the wiki. 

This includes updating the security clearance of individual documents, providing editing access to the people you know will contribute accurate information, and identifying which team members will look after the billing and maintenance of the software. 

Set up workflows to monitor corporate wiki’s effectiveness

Building a corporate wiki is not a one time activity. It is an iterative documentation that evolves with your company. Keep adding new workflows to the database and use metrics to see whether employees are benefiting from using the wiki. 

Figure out which elements are more popular by analyzing the most viewed documents, keywords used by employees to run searches, and pages they spend most of their time on. You can even add a small poll at the end to ask your team if they found the information helpful. 

If the instances of your employees selecting “not helpful” options increase, then it means you should ask your team to update the content. 

Get seamless corporate wiki solutions today with Scribe

Creating a corporate wiki can be a long, drawn-out process. But it comes with several benefits like improved business productivity and employee satisfaction. To speed up the process, you can automate it with Scribe. Ask your employees to document their workflows with the in-built recorder. The tool will automatically turn it into a visual step-by-step guide.

These guides can be collated together to form a massive database of internal information with Scribe Pages. Create your first Scribe today!