What is an Internal Business Wikis, & Why is It Important?

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What is an Internal Business Wikis, & Why is It Important?

Aug 26, 2022
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A business wiki can help collect these vital scattered knowledge so that all employees can use the information for the benefit of the organization.

What is a Business Wiki?

A business wiki, often referred to as a company wiki, corporate wiki, or enterprise wiki, is a knowledge management system or digital archive for internal information. Its purpose is to offer a unified source of knowledge that anybody may consult.

The word “wiki” refers to a server application that facilitates user participation in website content development. Whereas public wikis like customer portals and Wikipedia are open and intended for use by anybody, business wikis are private and intended only for employees.

An internal business wiki is designed to address internal matters of the organization by compiling all the relevant content into a single, centralized repository for managers and employees.

You are free to include any information you like on an internal wiki as long as it's beneficial to your team. Everyone in your organization can refer to the wiki as a centralized repository for up-to-date information on everything from training manuals and standard operating procedures to customer service and other important policies.

The content of your wiki is added to and maintained jointly by your staff. Therefore, establishing a wiki requires very little work. Once it’s up and running, it will expand naturally along with your team, eventually becoming an essential tool for your company’s business operations.

Why are Internal Business Wikis Important?

If you’re wondering whether or not a wiki is worth the time and effort, consider the following advantages:

Faster Employee Training

Recruits have a ton of questions when they first start working for your company, and they will likely need to consult with more seasoned workers to get answers. You can instruct new hires to use the internal wiki  to address any queries they may have.

Increased Efficiency in the Workplace

With a unified repository for all company knowledge, staff can save time and avoid duplicating tasks by quickly finding the answers they need in one place. Employees and managers can access a wealth of resources at any time, leading to higher productivity.

Knowledge Retention

It’s a sad reality that many workers quit their jobs or take extended leaves. The wiki serves as a repository for institutional knowledge, since present and future staff can benefit from the contributions of those who came before them from the company. One place to store such knowledge is in the internal business wiki.

Sharing Knowledge and Working Together

Sharing information is essential for the success of any business. Workers need the proper infrastructure to foster a culture of information sharing and promote more teamwork. There’s no question the business wiki is the best tool to facilitate improved collaboration.

Security

Most businesses today, prioritize data security, especially due to the increase in cyberattack cases worldwide. Business wikis help protect vital knowledge by integrating layers of security features, and ensuring that sensitive information is only accessible at certain levels of the organization.

An Organized Framework

A business wiki built on cutting-edge wiki software allows each contributor to organize the material in a hierarchy and classify it according to several categories. The users can simply browse through the material without becoming lost or confused.

How To Set up an Internal Business Wiki

Now that you know how valuable an internal business wiki is and why it’s a sound investment, how can you set one up for your business?

Follow these simple instructions to set up your wiki.

Step 1. Get your Information Architecture in Order.

It’s important to spend some time organizing your wiki’s content after you’ve settled on a wiki platform. Don’t start adding stuff to a blank page; else, it will turn into a chaotic mess.

Select some umbrella terms to use as the basis for your wiki’s structure.

For example:

  • HR

  • Company-wide

  • Engineering Support

  • Finance

Step 2. Import/Create content

Once you have established your wiki’s categories, you can begin importing information from other tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. First, find a wiki program that allows you to import content. If you have no material to import, create wiki pages.

Start working on your content so other team members can follow your lead and contribute. Make sure all new material is added before launching the wiki. A few examples of helpful documentation include a team member handbook and a tutorial on how to use the wiki.

Step 3. Plan your Wiki Launch

Your wiki rollout strategy will depend on whether you offer it to one department at a time or the entire organization. If you’re rolling out to one team, they can explore and create subcategories. Then, when you get around to including the rest of the firm, this group could be a model for how the rest of the organizational wiki pages should look like.

You can also train your staff to use the program effectively. When introducing internal wikis to an organization as a whole, it’s important to take steps to guarantee that content is moderated and that users understand how to contribute. You can appoint information ambassadors to oversee the contributions and resolve any issues that arise.

Step 4. Establish User Permissions for Certain Content

Before opening it up to your team, consider making some wiki pages inaccessible to everyone or format to read-only. Then, configure wiki permissions by deciding what details you want to share and what you’d rather keep to yourself, who can modify and post content, and who should be able to modify user permissions.

Step 5. Launch your Business Wiki

If your business has never used a wiki, you’ll need to explain the benefits to your employees. Then, let everyone know the availability of the internal wiki, its content, and why you’re using one and lay down the rules for how everyone should contribute.

Once up and running, your wiki will become a true informational goldmine for your staff. Don’t be afraid to consult experts when decoding the wiki solution that will work well for your business.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/self-made-nase-blog/self-made/2022/08/26/what-is-an-internal-business-wikis-why-is-it-important