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How to Create a Corporate Wiki for Your Company

How to create a corporate wiki for your business

On average, large U.S. businesses waste an insane amount of money – $47 million, every year due to poor knowledge sharing, without even realizing it. 

Hard to believe? 

Much of this loss is attributed to wasted hours in getting timely assistance. The precious time lost translates into missed opportunities, employee frustration, delayed and low-quality projects – all of it together leads to sluggish business growth. 

These internal inefficiencies can make you less competitive and more vulnerable in the long run. 

If you are looking for a magic bullet to combat these challenges and bounce back into action, you’ve come to the right place. Fortunately, a simple tool like corporate wiki software can help you out. 

This blog guides you through how to create a corporate wiki for your business. It also shares all relevant information related to a corporate wiki.

Read on to find out. 

What is Corporate Wiki

A corporate wiki is a common platform where you can store and share business information. Think of it as your company’s in-house Google or internal Wikipedia that flashes the right answer before your employees every time they have a question or concern. 

It acts as the go-to information resource that is created and managed by the employees, for the employees. This means, teams across departments work together to create your corporate wiki, which is then used for information sourcing by everyone in the organization. 

The best part about a corporate wiki is the ease of accessibility it offers. Employees can get anything they want in just a few swipes and clicks. 

What Should a Corporate Wiki Include? 

Being an internal company resource, a corporate wiki should comprise every single piece of information that you want your employees to be aware of, such as:

1. Company’s internal processes

Give your employees a head start by explaining to them the nitty-gritty of your internal processes. Demonstrate the processes with the help of examples, and let them learn independently.

2. Culture, mission, and vision

Your company’s culture speaks volumes about the values you stand for. Your mission and vision reflect how determined you are to make a mark. These are essential elements of a company wiki, as they help employees adjust to your work environment faster.

3. Company policies and employee benefits

There are various policies you have created for your organization’s smooth functioning. But, if employees aren’t aware of those policies, it will hardly bring an impact. 

An internal or private wiki should comprise all essential information about your company’s policies. This gives employees a clear idea of what’s right and what’s wrong, which actions are permitted and which aren’t, and the benefits they can get if they follow the norms. 

Besides these, an internal company wiki can have an employee onboarding checklist, internal and external projects, HR policies, and every information that you deem fit. 

A Corporate Wiki is Crucial for Your Business. Here’s Why!

Business knowledge is a critical asset for any organization, big or small. It is only because of its intangible nature that knowledge gets overlooked and underestimated most of the time. 

But think about it. Will your employees be able to make educated decisions without the right knowledge at hand? 

No, right? 

While you are laser-focused on giving your customers the best experiences, it’s your employees who get ignored in the process. But the point is, employees are equally important as your customers. They drive your organization forward every day with all the big and small decisions they take during work hours. 

An enterprise wiki can be your employees’ best friend, guiding, inspiring, and encouraging them at every step. 

Here’s all you need to know about why creating a company wiki is a worthwhile investment. 

  • A corporate wiki ensures that less time is wasted looking for information in scattered folders and more time goes into accomplishing goals. This acts as a productivity booster that further leads to intelligent decisions and quality work. 
  • Creating a corporate wiki can help you with employee onboarding. When new employees join an organization, they are clueless about its culture, policies, and new role. A one-stop information platform, corporate wiki, is at your employees’ disposal from the very start, bringing them up to speed in less time. 
  • The knowledge loss when employees leave your organization is immense. It can break your company’s processes and even impact the performance of the rest of your workforce. An internal wiki ensures that all critical knowledge is retained within the organization for the benefit of your current and future employees.  
  • A corporate wiki also instills a culture of knowledge sharing in your organization. Employees across departments can use this common platform to share their institutional knowledge, give suggestions to one another, discuss ideas, and much more. This creates a lively work culture where employees are enthusiastically sharing and enhancing their knowledge. 

These are the major benefits of a corporate wiki. But there have been instances where it has failed to generate the expected results. 

Let’s learn what leads to such failures in our next section. 

Why Some Company Wikis Flop?

A carefully-crafted wiki is bound to bring you beautiful results. It’s only when there are issues in its structure, content, search, or other vital elements that they fall flat. 

Below are some common mistakes that make corporate wikis unsuccessful.

1. When wikis add to the burden of your employees

When building and maintaining your internal wiki adds to your employees’ workload, it becomes a real challenge. You cannot put the entire responsibility on a single person or a single team. That would be unfair, as wiki creation should be a collective effort of different teams. 

It’s natural for employees to be reluctant to take out time for your wiki in the initial phases. But this mindset can change if you explain the benefits of this endeavor. 

Help them understand the importance of their efforts and rewards in the future. Explain how streamlined business processes, employee onboarding, and project execution will become once your organizational wiki is up and running. 

Collaborative working can turn even the biggest of tasks easy to handle. When your employees are aware of this fact and the multiple benefits of a corporate wiki, they will not treat your corporate wiki as a burden anymore.

2. When wikis are poorly structured

You might have seen those old-fashioned internal wikis that are a pain to navigate. They don’t have a proper structure to drive readers from one section to the other. 

Such wikis might have meaningful content, but it is of no use if employees can’t find what they need at the right time. 

This makes for a poor experience, urging employees to switch to calls and emails for data gathering. 

Since structure forms a critical component of a wiki, it is important to use a simple format. A table of contents with clear sections and subsections and internal linking in each article are two major things that make it easy for employees to dive all in and come out successfully, without costing them their precious time.

3. When wikis don’t work smoothly on mobile phones

It’s easy to find company intranets that don’t function as seamlessly on mobile phones as they do on laptops. This is another reason some internal wikis fail to make the right impact. 

A corporate wiki is supposed to make information-sourcing effortless, regardless of the device employees use to access it. This means, wherever your employees are – at your office or their homes, they can refer to your wiki and get work done without any hassles. 

A mobile-friendly wiki makes learning easy, especially for new employees. In the initial few months, they need the support of a trustworthy platform that can acquaint them with the organization’s work culture.

 If the wiki works well on mobile devices, it reduces the barriers of time and place, making it possible for employees to use it at their convenience. 

This was about a few things that have a hand in a wiki’s failure. So, whenever you are creating a company wiki, try not to fall into these pitfalls. 

Read More: 25 Reasons That Will Convince You to Create an Enterprise Wiki

Salient Features of a Corporate Wiki

You can’t just build any corporate wiki and expect it to work wonderfully for you. For a corporate wiki to be successful, it should have powerful features such as searchability, security, branding, etc. 

Let’s learn some of the salient features that are indispensable if you want your internal wiki to fulfill your expectations.

1. A Super-Fast Search System

As discussed earlier, a wiki’s existence is meaningless if employees can’t run quick searches and get the right responses. Employees prefer a wiki to calls or emails, mainly because it is time-saving, fast, and effortless to use. 

That’s exactly why your corporate wiki should have a strong search system that delivers prompt information. It should have a search bar where employees can type a question and get the answer in split seconds.

2. Translation in Multiple Languages

Whether you are a large organization or a small setup, you might have employees working in different locations, speaking different languages. 

That makes it essential for your wiki to be available in the native language of your employees. It will be beneficial in two ways. First, you will not have to hire translators, saving you a lot of money and effort. Second, you will be able to serve a diverse audience with a single company-wide wiki.

3. Security & Restrictions

A company wiki can have confidential information that cannot be shared with everyone in your organization. To maintain the security of sensitive content, you should be able to set rules and conditions at the page and folder level based on what content should be displayed or hidden from whom. 

The parameters for content display can be:

  • User roles 
  • The device used to access the wiki 
  • Site language
  • URL, and more.
Corporate wiki conditional logic in content

4. Collaboration Options

Wiki is a comprehensive document comprising an ocean of knowledge that keeps increasing over time. Being an exhaustive information resource, it is not possible for a single person or even a single team to build and maintain it. 

It requires all your smart heads to work in alignment in creating and managing your internal wiki. That’s why collaboration capabilities that streamline content management are essential. 

For instance, if contributors ensure that relevant content goes in your wiki, editors should take charge of vetting that content before publishing.

5. Internal linking

Your corporate wiki should have a generous amount of relevant internal links in place. That makes navigation from one page to the other quite smooth. So, if a reader is on page one reading something loosely related to his topic of concern, the right internal links can lead him to the right page almost instantly. 

It’s now time to put all theories into action. 

Ready to create a corporate wiki? Let’s do this. 

Step-by-Step Process to Create a Corporate Wiki That Your Employees Can’t Resist Using

Building a company wiki is not rocket science. With the right approach and the right steps, you will see your wiki up and running in just a few minutes. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a corporate wiki that your employees will love to use.

1. Find a Powerful, Feature-Packed Wiki Software

Getting a wiki tool is the first and most important step in the process. 

Having the best wiki software is indispensable to realize your vision of a powerful, informational wiki. While looking for a tool, remember that cloud-based systems are the best as they don’t require you to have coding know-how. 

This means you can build a successful wiki even if you don’t have the slightest hint of HTML, CSS, or other such languages. 

Besides this, here are some of the key features of wiki software that you must look out for. 

  • Easy to use editor 
  • Ready-made templates 
  • Google-like search 
  • Conditional content rules 
  • Roles, permissions, and user management 
  • Comprehensive reports 
  • Single Sign-On 
  • Custom domain 
  • Import and export, and many more. 

These are the essential features that online wiki software cannot afford to miss out on. A major part of how your wiki turns out depends on the tool’s features. 

So, choose your wiki software wisely.

2. Use a Corporate Wiki Template

With the right template, wiki creation can be a smooth ride. No hassles of creating everything from the ground up.

You get a ready-made table of contents with a few sections and subsections. Every section has some dummy content. Delete it to add valuable content for each category. You can even create new categories or rename the existing ones. 

Change the color scheme if you want, add your company’s logo, and get started in minutes.

Use corporate wiki template
View: 100+ Internal Knowledge Base Templates

3. Pen Down All That You Know

You can write everything you know from scratch with the online editor. Another option is to import existing files to your wiki. For instance, if you have company information spread across files, you can directly upload them to your wiki. Some of the file formats supported for importing are – word docs, PPTs, PDF, and excel sheets. 

Import PDF PPT in corporate wiki

While crafting content, ensure that: 

  • Paragraphs are short and to the point. 
  • Headings are short and action-oriented. 
  • Bullets are used in articles. They are great at drawing readers’ attention.  
  • Language is simple and crystal clear. 
  • Complicated terms are explained then and there. 
  • Media is generously used across your wiki, and most importantly, 
  • There is breathing space in the articles.

These simple tips will help you craft content of compelling quality.

4. Facilitate Collaborative Content Creation

Bring all your smart heads together on a single platform. Let them work in cohesion, support one another, and produce the best results. 

Assign them roles based on their caliber, their position in your organization, and the bandwidth they usually have during work hours. 

For example, if you feel a few individuals at the managerial level can be great at vetting the content, identifying mistakes, and guaranteeing error-free publishing, assign them the role of editor. 

On the other hand, you can give the role of contributors to those working at lower echelons but possessing deep knowledge about a subject. They will be responsible for writing, editing, and managing your wiki’s content. 

Content collaboration in KMS

A collaborative system like this will allow all your employees to contribute to the wiki creation process without putting the burden on a single person or team. 

Watch this short video to learn more about it.

5. Review the Content Thoroughly Before Going Live 

A corporate wiki speaks volumes about your brand. It reflects what you stand for – your values, culture, policies, and much more. 

Therefore, you cannot afford to make even the slightest of mistakes. The content should be free of grammatical, spelling, and factual errors. It should be on point, with each information carefully verified before publishing. 

To ensure that every article goes through a proper review process, you can allow your team to set workflows. 

A workflow comprises various types of status, such as: 

  • Draft
  • In Progress
  • Ready for Review
  • Published

You can even create a custom status, wherein contributors and editors can be requested to write or review an article.

Set Workflow in internal knowledge base

Workflows make the content review process streamlined and transparent. You can keep a check on the status of articles and ensure that they go through proper reviews before publishing.

6. Apply Conditions to Safeguard Sensitive Content

Your corporate wiki can have confidential information that shouldn’t be accessed by everyone. The best way to shield such data is by applying specific rules and conditions. 

As discussed in the previous section, these conditions can be applied based on various parameters such as user groups, site language, viewing device, URLs, etc. This will then define what your employees can and cannot see in the wiki. 

For instance, if a particular section talks about your sales figures, which you want only your sales team to access, you can set the condition as: 

These conditions ensure that only authorized employees, teams, and member groups have access to confidential information.

Content status in corporate wiki

7. Monitor Wiki’s Effectiveness for Performance Improvement

A wiki cannot be a static information source. It has to evolve with time in order to stay relevant for your employees. 

In that case, it is essential to continually measure the wiki’s effectiveness. You should be aware of which articles your employees frequently refer to, which keywords they use to run searches, what pages they spend the most time on, etc. 

Such insights are helpful in making intelligent decisions that further boost the wiki’s performance. For example, if you find that employees frequently search for HR policies, but they don’t find the content helpful. In such a case, you can ask respective teams to modify the article so that employees really find it useful. 

This video will give you more clarity on how you can leverage such comprehensive insights to improve wiki’s effectiveness. 

Voila, your corporate wiki is ready!

If you are going to start with the process, here’s a summary of the key points you cannot miss out on while creating a corporate wiki for your organization. 

Things to Remember

  • The wiki software you use determines how your corporate wiki turns out. So, choose it wisely. 
  • Focus on the wiki’s design and presentation, as much as the content.
  • Use the right language and tone while writing the wiki. Since employees will create a connection with your company through the wiki, you ought to put your best foot forward. 
  • Keep modifying and updating the wiki at regular intervals. Your employees should have access to the latest information. 
  • The wiki you create should be searchable, well-structured, and easy to navigate. 

Foster a Knowledge-Sharing, Collaborative Work Culture

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of how to create a company wiki. The process is simple. Just keep following the steps, and you will have the wiki ready in a few minutes. 

First of all, get the right software. Choose a wiki template and fill it with useful information. Involve all your employees in the wiki creation process. Remember that every article should go through an intensive review process before getting published. 

When you have this centralized information hub ready, you will see a tremendous improvement in the way knowledge is shared and used by your employees. 

Create a corporate wiki using ProProfs Knowledge Base to bind your teams together through knowledge!

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About the author

Brayn is a knowledge management expert. He has been published in CustomerThink, PointVisible and Apruve. As a customer support specialist at ProProfs, Brayn has been instrumental in building a robust knowledge base and documents that help support executives keep every customer delighted. You can catch up with Brayn on Twitter and LinkedIn.