Must-Follow Best Practices to Create an Internal Wiki for Your Company

Must-Follow Best Practices To Create Internal Wiki For Your Company

How can employees access your business knowledge if it’s cornered in some files and folders?  

When information isn’t available at the time when employees need it the most, it fails to be of real help. 

Information silos can wreak havoc on your organization. It can affect employees’ ability to collaborate, innovate, and make quick, informed decisions. 

If this system continues to thrive, you will have to face low employee morale and reduced efficiency that will further lead to the deterioration of your work culture. 

Thinking of a solution? 

An internal company-wide wiki helps you reverse information silos and keep employees closer together. It’s a centralized platform where information can be stored and accessed securely. 

After reading this blog, you will have sufficient knowledge about: 

  • What is an internal wiki, and why do you need it? 
  • How to create an internal wiki
  • Best practices to keep your wiki up and running

What Is an Internal Wiki? 

An internal wiki is a centralized information hub where you can store important information related to your:

  • Company’s history, vision, and mission
  • Work processes
  • Teams across departments
  • Clients and projects
  • Work policies
  • Employee code of conduct, and much more 

An internal company-wide wiki handholds employees from the time they join till they leave your organization. It helps them at every step of the way, making their journey in your company hassle-free. 

A company wiki is your employees’ first point of reference, their last resort, and the guiding light they need to give their best to work.

Why Do You Need an Internal Wiki? 

An internal wiki can work wonders for your business. From inducting new employees to your organization and fostering a collaborative work culture to facilitating easy information access and preventing knowledge loss, an internal wiki does it all. 

It can literally alter the way your company functions and employees work. Let’s see how.

1. Introduces New Employees to Your Company

Going to a new organization and starting a new work-life from scratch can feel like a nightmare for new hires. They will have numerous questions about their new role, their key accountabilities, work policies, the benefits your company offers, and the list goes on. 

A completely new environment can give them jitters, and more so if they don’t get the consistent support they need. 

That’s where corporate wiki comes to play. It introduces new hires to your organization, puts them at ease with their new work-life, and brings them up to speed with their team members. 

It’s challenging to feed them all the information in a single day. That’s why they will need your internal wiki to refer to and grasp information at their own convenient pace.

Internal wiki exampleemployee wiki

2. Cultivates a Culture of Collaboration 

Collaboration is a major pillar of a happy and thriving workplace. It keeps your employees closer together, helping them work collaboratively to achieve your business goals. 

An internal wiki proves incredibly helpful in keeping this pillar strong. Employees can use it to get instant access to crucial information, share their experiences and observations, and give feedback on information shared by others. 

In fact, teams from different departments can come together to contribute to the wiki from time to time, fact-check the articles, and ensure that the wiki is always updated. 

This collaborative knowledge-sharing culture infuses positivity and turns your company into ‘One Big Happy Family.’

For instance, if your HR staff feels that the recruitment policy is quite old and needs to be revised, they can make the changes required and ensure that these changes are reflected in your internal wiki.Internal wiki content example

Similarly, other department members can keep updating the wiki with new information as and when there are any changes in a work process or when they want to share some experiences with everyone in your organization. 

Read More: Effective Tips to Cultivate a Collaborative Work Culture

3. Makes Information-Gathering a Click Away

Imagine switching from one folder to the other in search of information while you are working on a project, a presentation, or, worst of all, when you are in a client meeting. 

In the case of a client meeting, the embarrassment can be painful. And the time lost during projects and presentations cannot be brought back. 

An enterprise wiki saves you those hours you otherwise would have spent while searching for the one thing’ you need. It can be information about your client, something related to your work policies, or your products. Your employees can access the internal company wiki anytime they want, and from any part of the world, they are.

Suppose you are in a client meeting in a different city and you need some details about your client policies. Will you call, email, or text a colleague and wait for hours for a file? 

Not, really. You would want to get the information right away. 

An internal wiki makes that possible. All you have to do is open it on your mobile phone or laptop and get instant access to anything you need.

Project policy under internal wiki

Such a quick and fuss-free way to get information, right?

4. Preserves Company Knowledge 

As your organization grows, your business knowledge grows with it. As your departments grow, employee strength increases and the customer base enlarges – there will be a sharp rise in rising in the information generated every day. 

Now, to securely preserve this constantly rising knowledge, you need a powerful platform. That’s where internal wiki comes into the picture. 

It stores any amount of information you want in the cloud. This info is password-protected, so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized individuals accessing your corporate wiki. 

Suppose you acquire a new product but do not want everyone to have access to all the details about the acquisition. You can add it to your internal wiki and change your security settings, allowing only limited individuals to access the content.

New product information under internal wiki

5. Boosts Knowledge Transfer

What happens when employees leave, retire, or are sacked from your organization? The knowledge and experiences they have gained also leave with them. This is an enormous loss for your business. 

Internal wiki helps you create a seamless knowledge transfer system where all your employees, especially those holding key positions, keep sharing their knowledge and experiences.

 If this knowledge isn’t shared, it can create gaps in the work processes when employees leave. The result? An inefficient workforce and broken processes. 

Creating an internal wiki ensures that employees’ institutional knowledge is captured, stored, and regularly shared with everyone in the organization.  

Take, for example, your marketing head, who has been working in your organization for the last ten years, has to leave the organization because of any unavoidable reason. As one of the pillars of your company, his exit can impact not only the marketing department but even other divisions. 

But, having an internal wiki in place can be a game-changer here if everyone in your organization is documenting their knowledge and information. The marketing head might be recording his valuable experiences, industry insights, new industry trends, and much more to the wiki regularly and all of it can still be accessed after he leaves the organization.

Internal wiki content to include

How To Create an Internal Wiki? 

Building an internal wiki is a prerequisite if you aim to promote a culture of communication and collaboration in the workplace. Once you have a wiki, you will be in awe of its capability to bring noticeable changes to your work processes. 

So, without further ado, let’s look at how you can build an internal wiki that your employees can’t resist.

1. Get a Robust Internal Wiki Tool

Without a good wiki tool, you will not get the kind of results required to achieve the business goals. While the online market is replete with internal wiki tools that paint a promising picture of extraordinary results, you still need to be prudent while selecting one. 

First, ensure that the tool you finalize is cloud-based. That means there will be literally no hassles of setting it up. All you will need is a device and internet connection to get things moving. 

Next, check out for these features. These are a must-have for any internal wiki software you choose. 

  • Wiki templates
  • Online text editor that works like MS Word
  • A search mechanism resembling Google
  • Option to add, delete, and manage users
  • Option to customize the wiki
  • Multiple language support
  • Contextual help
  • A powerful security and authentication system
  • In-depth reports, and many more. 

These are some of the significant features that your internal knowledge base software must-have. You can expand this list depending on your goals. Next, check the price of the shortlisted tools and analyze which tool offers the most bang for your bucks. 

Go for the trial version of the selected tools, and based on your experience, select the one that aligns with your requirements. 

Read More: Best 19 Wiki Software For Your Business

2. Employ a Suitable Template

Templates can transform your experience of creating an internal wiki. They make the process much easier, fuss-free and streamlined. That’s primarily because you don’t have to start creating a wiki from the ground up. 

Templates provide a ready-made arrangement to get your wiki up and running in minutes. There is a table of contents, categories, and sub-categories in place. You can change them according to the topics you want to include in your wiki. 

What next? Add your company’s logo and start writing. 

Easy, right?

3. Write, or Import Content

Now you have the template in place. Start with the writing process, and add every piece of information you want your corporate wiki to have. 

An ideal wiki must have the following contents to include: 

  • Company policies 
  • Code of conduct 
  • Employee benefits  
  • Clients and projects 
  • Departments and teams 
  • Products and services, and much more. 

If you already have this information in your files and folders, you can import them directly to your wiki. This will expedite the content-building process.

create internal wiki

While crafting content, remember to do certain things right, such as: 

  • Create short sentences and paragraphs
  • Try to write in the active voice
  • Create benefit-oriented titles and subtitles
  • Use instructional and educational tone 
  • Use bulleted points wherever possible
  • Keep your content clear and simple
  • Break down complex information into easy-to-understand sentences and paragraphs
  • Have some breathing space in the document. Do not choc-a-bloc articles with unnecessary content. 

Following these simple tips will take your content quality one notch higher.

Read: How to Create a Private Wiki With Predesigned Templates

4. Make the Most of Images & Videos

Visuals can literally take your internal wiki from average to awesome. 

Did you know that a human brain can process visual elements a whopping 60,000 times faster than plain text? 

Yes, you heard it right! 

That sums up why you simply cannot afford to ignore visuals. In fact, adding them to the right places can bring you more engagement and ensure that customers gain a holistic understanding of the wiki’s content. 

Visuals in the form of screenshots and videos are great for giving demonstrations of a process or a product. They provide readers a step-by-step guide to carry out a process successfully. 

HighQ shows us how to make smart use of images and videos. Have a look.

HighQ example

5. Review, Improve, & Publish

You might have heard a popular saying, “To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Well, that stands true even when you are creating an internal wiki. 

Imagine if you publish the content without fact-checking and proofreading it. Your employees will have a document full of grammatical, structural, and factual errors. What do you think they will feel about your brand?

Firstly it will set a negative brand impression on them, and second, it will force them to question the reliability of your wiki. Next time, they will think twice before relying on your wiki. 

This can be avoided if you have a streamlined review process in place. The internal wiki software you use allows you to assign workflow status to each article.

The predefined status can be – Draft, Ready for Review, In Progress, or Published. 

In case your article stage doesn’t fit in any of these categories, you can create a custom status as well. 

This will bring clarity and transparency to your review process and will ensure that your content is reviewed properly before going live.

Set workflow in operations manual

6. Measure, Analyze, & Update

Creating a wiki isn’t enough. You need to constantly measure how adept it is in fulfilling your top goals – onboarding, training, and knowledge transfer, to name a few. 

For that, you need to measure its performance, analyze the results, and accordingly update it with new content. 

Measure your wiki’s performance across four major areas: 

  • Its competence in delivering accurate results 
  • Articles that are frequently read and those that aren’t by employees 
  • Links that are broken and do not provide the right article results 
  • Number of articles created and modified by employees

These simple metrics will give a summary of your wiki’s overall performance. Once you know what’s working and what’s not in your wiki, you are better equipped to make big and small changes to boost wiki performance. 

Insightful reports provided by a wiki tool can make this work. They show meaningful data pertaining to your wiki in a graphical and tabular form, making it easy for you to analyze it. 

This video will explain everything you should know about reports and how they can help you improve and update your wiki.

Best Practices To Turn Your Internal Wiki From Good To Great

The process of creating an internal wiki is not limited to the writing, editing, and publishing part. There is a lot more to it. 

To give your wiki a magic touch that earns employee kudos, you need to do something extra. 

Here are some of the areas working on which can make your internal company wiki every employee’s favorite source of information. 

1. Searchability 

What is the use of your wiki if employees aren’t able to search for the information they need? 

It will kill the entire purpose of creating a wiki in the first place. 

Searchability forms a core element of an enterprise wiki. Its search mechanism should resemble that of Google’s – intuitive and seamless. 

Have a convenient search bar at the top of your wiki where employees can type a keyword or a question and get prompt answers. To enhance the wiki’s searchability, sprinkle the most relevant keywords across all articles, in titles, subtitles, as well as in the body part. 

This will ensure that employees get accurate results every time they search for something in your wiki. 
Mimosa leads the way in searchability. Look at how quick and efficient its search system is.

Mimosa Knowledge Base search experience

2. Real-Time Collaboration

If you want your internal wiki to be a comprehensive and rich source of information, encourage all your employees to contribute to it. 

Involve subject matter experts, members of the top management, employees working at junior or middle level to come together and participate in the content creation process. It will unify your teams and make your wiki a converging point of contact.

To streamline the process and leave no scope for confusion, you can assign different roles to specific employees and teams. These roles can be – contributors, editors, administrators, and viewers. 

When all users of the wiki know what they are supposed to do, it will infuse clarity in the process and make collaboration hassle-free. 

Watch this video to learn more about wiki collaboration.

3. What Looks Good, Feels Good

Bill Gates once said, “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.” 

Interesting, right? The fun fact is this actually works. 

Ask yourself what you would prefer? 

A dull and drab, text-heavy document or a bright and lively, media-rich document? The answer is quite obvious. 

Imagine if your wiki has both – the looks to woo employees and great content to help them when they need it. 

It’s a killer combination to have and will instantly turn your wiki into a stunning source of info. 

To keep your wiki’s looks on point, you can: 

  • Add your company’s brand name and logo 
  • Use suitable colors, fonts, and themes that look pleasing and go well with your brand 
  • Use  headers and footers across all pages 
  • Bold and italicize important sections 
  • Include a welcome and thank you note in your wiki

These are just a few ways you can give the much-needed sheen to your internal wiki. For more information on how you can create a beautiful wiki, watch this video.

4. Focus on Its Architecture

A disheveled wiki or a structured, prim, and proper wiki, which one would you prefer?

It goes without saying – a structured internal wiki that makes navigation a breeze. 

Your wiki’s structure should be such that switching from one section to the other should be a seamless and low-effort experience. 

That’s why you need to give due importance to the wiki’s structure. 

Here’s what you can do to keep your wiki in good shape: 

  • Divide the content into a few major sections and their subsections 
  • Follow the general to a specific approach. Start with general, broad topics and narrow down towards the specific ones.  
  • Use bulleted lists in each section. 
  • Have a homepage that reflects all the sections the wiki will be covering 
  • Create a separate FAQ section that includes the common questions asked by employees 
  • Have related article links at the bottom of each page 

Get your wiki’s structure right and make information-gathering a smooth sail for your employees.

5. Ask for Feedback

It’s possible that employees don’t find some of your wiki articles helpful or specific enough. What would you do then? 

There should be a system that allows employees to give feedback on the articles that lack relevant information or aren’t updated for a long time. 

Giving employees the opportunity to give suggestions will give them the assurance that their opinions matter and their knowledge holds a valuable place in the company’s processes. 

There are two ways you can capture employee feedback. 

First, you can have a standard question at the end of all wiki articles. This question can be – “Did you find this article helpful?”. Give Yes or No as the answer choices. When an employee selects No, a comment box displays where he or she can submit the feedback. 

This is how it looks.

Feedback in internal wiki

Another way to gather feedback is via survey forms. You can embed different kinds of surveys at specific places in your wiki. 

Depending on your objective, create surveys such as employee satisfaction NPS, employee engagement survey, rating survey, in-app surveys, or polls, and add them at strategic points in your wiki. 

This is a great way to understand how happy employees are with your internal wiki and how helpful is your wiki in addressing employee concerns. 

Features of Internal Wiki

An ideal internal wiki must be easy to use, engaging, and packed with useful information. It should be adept at answering employee questions and ensuring that employees don’t have to look elsewhere whenever they face challenges. 

Here are some of the features that your internal wiki must have: 

  • Works flawlessly on multiple devices – laptops, tablets, and mobile phones 
  • Allows multiple writers and editors to work collaboratively while creating content 
  • Offer an uninterrupted search experience to employees 
  • Allow access to only authorized employees 
  • Provide the option to track changes and restore a previous version of an article 
  • Allows you to recover the content deleted by mistake 
  • Relevant articles interlinked together for easy navigation 
  • Categories and subcategories to ensure that information is easy to find 
  • Allows you to upload images and videos directly to your wiki 
  • These are the critical internal features that can give employees an enriching information-gathering experience. 

It’s Time To Launch Your Internal Wiki

It’s finally time to dive into the process and get your internal wiki up and running. 

To start with, remember how important it is for you to choose the right internal wiki tool. Once you have that, consider the job half done. 

Next, you need to focus on the content you add to your wiki. Focus on its structure and design, add visuals throughout the wiki, and ensure that the wiki is reviewed thoroughly before going live. 

Keep measuring its performance and updating it regularly so as to turn it into an evergreen, thriving source of information. 

Have the above-mentioned wiki creation tips up your sleeve, and you will have a masterpiece ready for your employees!

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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.