Companies all accumulate tons of information over the years. They keep files on best practices, processes and procedures, industry knowledge, and so much more. And yet, most companies have this information scattered about in emails, docs, PDF files, chat messages, and so forth. In even worse cases, there are never documents created in the first place. This can do several things, but it primarily affects the productivity of the team and the entire organization.
Studies have shown that as much as $31.5 billion is lost by Fortune 500 companies that fail to properly and effectively manage knowledge. And that’s every year—imagine how it adds up over time. having a dedicated company wiki will ensure that your information is all organized and streamlined, improving teamwork and efficiency across the board.
In case the aforementioned loss of billions of dollars by companies that don’t manage their knowledge properly wasn’t enough of a reason, there are plenty of others to keep in mind. First, though, it’s helpful to understand exactly what a company wiki is.
This is a central knowledge database for your company where employees of all levels can share, organize, and manage internal documents and information. Unlike public databases, this one will be closed and only accessible to your employees. With this hub, you’ll have your own internal Wikipedia, essentially, and you’ll even be able to determine who can author content, share information, edit content, and so forth.
Having a company wiki is critical if you want to keep everyone on the same page and promote an informed company culture. It’s essential for organization and streamlining your day-to-day operations, as well as to ensure that if there are any questions on policies or procedures, for example, there is a place where the answers can be found. It creates a single source of information and helps new employees learn the ways of the company quicker, too, which will ultimately benefit your team tremendously.
The first step in creating a company wiki database is to select the best software for the job. If you don’t pick the right platform, nothing else matters. You need something intuitive, easy to edit, easily searched, and that integrates with other tools and software that you use. You’ll also want a platform with access and permissions management so that you can keep tabs on who can access the internal database.
Once you’ve got the platform, it’s time to get to work:
1. Start adding content to the wiki. You can do this by importing your content into a new platform from an old one. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to set up a structure that includes topics you’re familiar with, such as HR, strategy, processes, and other areas of operation. The best platforms will create real-time collaborative docs so that your entire team can help build the database.
2. Link pages together. If you have pages in your wiki that are related to each other, you’ll want to link them so that they’re easy to explore for people who are perusing the database. This makes it much more like a website than a list of folders and documents, which is much more intuitive and appealing to your employees.
3. Determine the access rights. Some companies create a wiki that is only accessible to certain people, or that only certain employees will have the right to edit or modify. Who should have access to your wiki? Should everyone have the same access, or will there be different classifications? Fortunately, modern software makes setting permissions easy.
4. Get the team involved. The best wikis are a collaboration of the best minds in the company. You shouldn’t expect one or two people to build and manage the wiki. It needs to be a team effort from the start, including accepting feedback when people find information that is outdated, incorrect, or otherwise causes questions.
Before you can start cranking out content, of course, you’ll have to sit down with your team and decide what you’re going to include in your company’s wiki database. There are no rules here—what does this platform offer your organization? Capitalize on those elements. Typically, company wiki hubs usually include things like:
Of course, feel free to add anything that you like to this list and make your company wiki exactly what it needs to be for your organization. Get input from your colleagues and employees and get started as soon as possible to get your wiki up and running. When you find new documents or processes to add, make sure to add them accordingly to keep the hub organized and current.
You have a lot on your plate with running a business and if you’re in the process of setting up an internal wiki, you’re even busier than usual. In the meantime, you should have the right tools in place, including a 24/7 answering service like the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, so that you never miss an opportunity even if you’re working on other things. We can even handle lead intake, appointment scheduling, live website chat, and so much more.
When you choose to work with us, you’ll also get a custom-tailored plan to manage all the details, no matter what your needs might be. That way, you can focus on building your business and know that your communications aren’t getting lost in the meantime. And, if you want even more assistance, ask about our outbound sales support and teams to assist with outreach campaigns to bring in the leads in the first place.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business communications and admin needs. You can also reach us at email@example.com or (650) 727-6484.