According to a 2012 McKinsey study, employees spent 9.3 hours every week just looking for information to do their jobs. Especially now companies often use multiple tools to get their work done, when information is scattered between thousands of emails, instant messages, presentations, hard copies, and employees’ brains, you can imagine how it ends up taking up so much time. But if you implement an internal knowledge base to centralize your internal company information, maybe some of that wasted time can go toward productive work.
Thankfully, you don’t have to invent the wheel with this one. There are a lot of internal wiki solutions on the market, and this guide will tell you everything you need to know about implementing a company wiki for your team.
What is an internal wiki?
An internal company wiki is a centralised knowledge hub where your teammates share and organize company information and important team knowledge. It can include onboarding checklist, vacation policy, product requirements docs, meeting notes, sales training, troubleshooting guides and more (check out our company wiki template gallery for more examples).
Below is an example of what an internal wiki can look like, created using Kipwise - a lightweight company wiki solution.
Benefits of using an internal wiki
We won’t pretend like creating an internal wiki isn’t a significant undertaking. It is, and it will take time and resources. But it’s well worth that effort. Why?
First, internal wikis help you onboard new team members faster. When everything they need to know to get started in their job is all concentrated in one place, a new employee can focus on getting up to speed rather than going on a scavenger hunt for information.
Internal wikis also help make managers’ lives easier. Instead of having to hear the same question repeated again and again, managers can point their subordinates to the company wiki which will answer it for them. And along with that, team members will have the opportunity to be more independent and proactive, searching for answers to their own questions, even if somebody is on holiday or working from home.
Finally, internal wikis help you to keep information around - even when things change in the company. You no longer have to deal with the age-old problem of losing a bunch of information when a key employee leaves the company.
How to create an internal team wiki
Now that you’re thoroughly convinced of the value of an internal wiki, how do you go about implementing one for your company?
Choose a software
The first step is to select an internal wiki software. There are many options out there to choose from. To help you explore the available options, we have compiled a list of modern internal wiki tools that you can try. When considering the option, a good knowledge base software should:
- Provide a fast and reliable search
- Integrates well with other tools that your team is already using. For examples, integrations that you might be looking for include Slack integration, Chrome extension, Google Drive Integration, etc.
- Have an intuitive and easy-to-navigate user interface
- Easily editable even for non tech-savvy users, best if the editor supports real-time collaboration
- Support version history so you can track changes easily
- Have a content review flow to help ensure content are up-to-date and verified
- Allow you to create mandatory readings to ensure important content are read
- Provides analytics to help you understand usage and identify knowledge gaps
Once you’ve picked a knowledge base software, your next step is to begin drafting your initial wiki content. This will be a process of importing existing documentation and writing new content where it becomes clear it is necessary to do so.
To begin with, it’s a good idea for your internal wiki to cover at least the following topics:
- Onboarding materials such as onboarding checklist
- Training materials such as customer kick-off call template
- Team rosters
- Technical documentation such as product requirements documents
- Workflows, processes, and procedures
- Meeting notes
- Company policies
- Company and team goals
Check out our internal wiki template gallery for more inspiration and our ultimate guide on how to structure your internal knowledge base. Naturally, as you develop your wiki, you’ll discover countless uses for it and information to include that is a fit for your unique company’s needs.