When someone mentions a business wiki, everyone’s minds usually go to Wikipedia. And that is actually a good way of explaining it because having a business wiki is like having a Wikipedia just for your company.
It is a centralized hub that stores the company's knowledge and special insights, whether it concerns a specific process, customer support information, training materials, or standard operating procedures.
In short, a business wiki contains all the information the employees need to be productive and motivated members of the team.
The benefits of having such an internal wiki can be huge and significantly contribute to the growth and success of your company.
In this article, we've gathered the five most important reasons why it's good to invest in business wiki software. We also tried to outline the characteristics you should consider when choosing which solution to purchase. So let's get started!
Faster Employee Onboarding
When employees start working on a new job position, they have hundreds of questions in their heads. It takes them a while to get up to speed and stop relying on other employees and managers for help.
In fact, it will likely take them several months of training to become productive team members.
Companies can shorten this period by granting new hires access to the company wiki, which gathers the information they need to get the ropes quickly and become efficient in their roles.
With a wiki in place, companies can encourage new employees to go through helpful resources at their own pace and use them whenever they don't know how to solve a specific issue.
But statistics indicate that, although the benefits of quality onboarding are well-known, companies still don't know how to train new employees. Figures show that 88% of employees think their company is not very good at onboarding, which leaves much room for improvement.
Everyday Speech used to fall in the category of companies with broken onboarding until they invested in quality documentation software and created wiki training materials for the new hires.
They are a social-emotional learning platform focused on public schools. If you look at their interactive platform, you will see that it contains a myriad of videos, digital activities, and games that help students develop fundamental skills necessary for success in today's society.
Founded in 2012, the company scaled very quickly, and the onboarding process became more challenging to manage. That's why they decided to use software and centralize the information about the company in one knowledge wiki.
By granting new hires access, they’ve given them all the information they need to better understand their company and its values, as well as details about their job position and daily work.
The new employees found their onboarding helpful and easy to understand, and gave them excellent feedback saying as much. These great results were obtained through the power of wiki!
As you can see from this example, with the help of good wiki software, new hires can learn about a company and their responsibilities faster, and shorten the time to becoming productive. Because of this, their overall first impression of the organization will be positive.
Less Hassle, More Work Done
Once you have your company's knowledge centralized in the wiki software, your employees will spend less time searching for information and will be able to perform their tasks faster, better, and more efficiently.
As the company's wiki is a treasure trove of valuable resources, employees can consult it whenever they need a piece of information to get the work done and make better-informed decisions.
We can see just how important an internal wiki can be regarding employee productivity from studies that show how closely they're connected.
According to research conducted by McKinsey, employees spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information to do their daily job. And 81% report that not being able to access the information they need makes them feel frustrated.
Therefore, to reduce the time employees spend searching for information and feeling overwhelmed, investing in a wiki is a must.
For Philips, housing all processes, protocols, and strategies into one easily searchable platform proved crucial for boosting productivity.
They've recently launched a new wiki platform to accompany their transformation from a product-based to a solution-based company. This saved employees a lot of time, enabling them to perform better in their day-to-day jobs.
Their intention was not merely to collect the knowledge in one internal wiki platform but also to make it easily accessible. No matter in which country employees work, they've wanted to enable them to quickly tap into the company's knowledge and expertise and use it to improve their work.
Or as Hans Visschers, global head of knowledge management at Philips, stated in the Deloitte podcast:
"Our goal is not knowledge management. Our goal is to better improve business outcomes by applying a structured way of doing knowledge management."
As you can see from this example, with quality wiki software in place, employees can access information on demand every time they need them.
They no longer have to get other team members to help them solve the issue. Everything can be resolved with just one quick visit to the internal wiki.
Remember, productivity can be a deciding factor in a company's success. When employees have the resources they need to do their job efficiently, your company will also thrive. Therefore, it would be a good idea to invest in the wiki software as the benefits can be immense.
Storing Knowledge for the Future
When employees decide to pursue their careers elsewhere or retire, they'll most likely take their institutional knowledge with them.
Sometimes, they'll try to pass on their knowledge to other employees before they leave. However, it often isn't easy to transfer the knowledge and experience that has been accumulated over the years in the short period of time between putting in their notice and actually leaving. In most cases, valuable knowledge and insights are lost to the company.
Moreover, if employees don't share information, they are likely to repeat the mistakes of others. Instead of learning from the setbacks of other team members, they now have to go through sometimes complex processes on their own and look for the best solutions.
In those cases, it becomes clear how harmful it can be for a company not to keep track of processes, procedures, and protocols. If information is not collected and organized in wiki software, the consequences can cost your company a lot of money.
It’s estimated that 500 Fortune companies lose approximately $31.5 billion a year because they do not share knowledge. That’s a lot of money that could otherwise be spent on education, development, and bonuses for team members.
To better explain how important it is for a company to invest in wiki software, let’s look at the example of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, now called Aerojet Rocketdyne, which has faced this problem and successfully solved it.
Some years ago, they noticed that many engineers would retire soon after attaining senior status. They were struggling to find a way to preserve their technical knowledge and expertise, especially that relating to the space shuttle engine programs and propulsion systems.
That’s why they started capturing experts’ knowledge, data mining tools, materials, and methods by systematizing and centralizing databases.
Realizing the importance of gathering databases into one centralized wiki, they began training their employees on how to share knowledge and promote a culture of collaboration.
But they didn't stop there—they’ve started organizing conferences and seminars where employees would give speeches, which were recorded and later added to the internal wiki, as we can see in the picture from Twitter below, where Kate Maliga presents on trends in electric propulsion.
In this way, important knowledge is preserved for the next generation of engineers and other employees who are able to continue where they’ve left off.
Remember, since you invest a lot of time and resources in your employees, if you want to have a more successful company, take care that this knowledge and expertise are not lost but available to other team members. And internal wiki software is the best way to achieve this.
Your Departments Will Love It
One of the best reasons it's good to have wiki software for your company is that your employees will know to love and appreciate it.
And for the simple reason, it will allow them to enhance communication and collaboration and ensure that they stay up to date with the latest information.
Internal communication is essential for the healthy functioning of the business because it improves teamwork, builds trust, encourages employees to share their knowledge and expertise and perform better.
Because a company's success largely depends on how team members communicate, creating a culture where employees collaborate and freely share their ideas and innovations should be one of your priorities.
So it is not enough to merely have wiki software. You should also connect it with internal enterprise social networks such as, for example, Slack.
Slack is the first choice of many companies, after gaining popularity among employees due to its advanced features. It allows the workforce not only to get organized but also to collaborate on a single platform.
With Slack, team members can interact via chat, call or video, share their ideas, help each other with advice, or simply engage in a water-cooler style of conversation to bring a little fun into their workday.
As you can see in the picture, it also allows you to create different channels around a topic or project and enables everyone who works on it to be informed of the latest developments.
But to take collaboration among team members to the next level and further encourage sharing knowledge, it's a good idea to integrate Slack with your wiki software.
Our own documentation software, Archbee, allows you to do just that.
With Archbee, you can invite new members, share, move, or archive documents, publicly share documents or spaces.
And whenever you make a change, employees will be notified about it on Slack.
It is easier to track changes, comment, make suggestions, and even edit documents when everyone is on the same page. And by combining wiki software like Archbee and enterprise social networks like Slack you can take employee collaboration to even greater heights.
It's excellent for creating a sense of belonging to the same workforce. It also boosts knowledge sharing and enables employees to comment on any knowledge article and offer feedback or suggestions. And that will significantly strengthen inter-departmental collaboration and communication.
If you are running a company, one of your biggest concerns should be the security of your information and customer data.
Not only because cyberattacks are on the rise but also because sensitive documents can easily land in the hands of your competitors. And that is something all companies should try to avoid.
In general, information stored on a cloud-based internal wiki is far more secure than files stored on hard disks or company servers. And investing in a strong documentation platform with advanced layers of security, like Archbee, will guarantee you that your documentation will be safe and secured at all times.
For example, Archbee has a daily backup and can restore a data loss within an hour. If your documentation software doesn't have an advanced backup feature, you risk losing sensitive information and severely jeopardizing your business. That's why investing in software with great backup is a must.
Also, you should check the integrations that your wiki software uses, and see how they handle security issues. Archbee, for instance, integrates with Slack for communication and Stripe for billing, and both tools are known to have stringent security credentials.
One of the reasons companies opt for special wiki software instead of their own servers is because high-quality servers are often costly and need an IT specialist to handle the security issues and protect them from hackers.
That is why companies find paying monthly subscriptions cheaper than buying expensive servers and hiring additional personnel. However, it's also a good idea to check the hosting provider that the wiki software uses before purchasing.
For example, Archbee uses Amazon AWS (Amazon Web Services) as its service provider to host its web servers, CDNs, database, and backups. And Amazon AWS is known for being built with the highest standards for privacy and data security.
You need to be very careful when deciding on your wiki platform. If you don't select the right software with quality security protection, you risk losing months and months of writing and collected knowledge to cyberattacks or malware.
Whatever platform you choose to store your wiki should be the one that will give you peace of mind that your company data is secure and safe at all times.
In this article, we’ve outlined five good reasons why you should create an internal wiki for your company.
Companies with business wiki software are at an advantage compared to competitors that don't provide a knowledge resource for their employees.
Apart from cutting down operational costs, a business wiki guarantees a better onboarding experience, enhances the productivity of your employees, builds a strong team spirit, and protects sensitive data.
Considering all these advantages, we hope we've encouraged you to create an internal wiki and reap all the benefits it can bring to your company.