- Oct 01, 2020
- by Alex Ali
Operating a successful company is all about offering value and solving real problems. Over time, this can lead to an accumulation of valuable information. Unfortunately, managing and organizing this knowledge can pose a serious challenge.
Running a corporate wiki site is a smart way to solve this information storage and organization problem. In general, a wiki is a collaboratively edited website that lets multiple users add to and modify it. Your company can easily use one to store all your content in a central place and consistently update it.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about what a wiki website is, how it works, and how your company can benefit from using one. Let’s get to it!
An Introduction to Wiki Websites
A wiki website is any type of website or software tool that enables collaborative editing by its users. In other words, if you can read it, you can also edit it. The most common example is Wikipedia:
This domain is simply a public encyclopedia that allows site visitors to add all sorts of information covering virtually every sphere of knowledge. Another example you may be familiar with is the infamous WikiLeaks. However, your business wiki will need to be a little different.
You can consider your business wiki website as a private Wikipedia that serves your company and its employees. Typically, it will be targeted at growing a knowledge base in a particular field.
Although wiki websites are open to collaboration, they normally have to be moderated. As a business, you can also choose to regulate which members of your company can contribute. You could make it accessible to all registered users. Or, you could limit it to members of a certain department or with a certain level of clearance.
Diplopedia, for example, is a United States government-run wiki website that allows all its users to add just about any information associated with international relations and diplomacy.
However, it’s run on an intranet open only to authorized government officials. There are lots of other examples to consider in order to understand how wikis work and how you can incorporate one into your business. However, let’s consider practical ways in which having one can benefit your company.
How Your Company Can Benefit from a Wiki Website (5 Key Ways)
The original implementation of a wiki website was done by Ward Cunningham (popularly known as the father of the wiki). Ward described the idea as a “composition system”, “discussion medium”, “repository”, and “tool for collaboration”. Although the form has changed over the years, its function has remained virtually the same. Here are some of the benefits you stand to enjoy using a wiki website for your company.
1. A Wiki Site Helps to Effectively Document and Organize All Your Information
To maximize efficiency, you must organize your information in a manner that makes it easily accessible and editable by your team. A wiki website can help you do that.
The ideal wiki website uses a clear hierarchical structure to make it easy for employees to find and apply useful information when necessary. If your business processes require a more flexible structure, you can customize the wiki website based on your unique needs as well.
For example, Airtable collaborates with Guru to deliver its users an integrated wiki service. This is not only useful for collaboration, but it also gathers information in a highly organized structure:
Furthermore, employees can still use the search feature to find what they’re looking for. This will significantly benefit your business in terms of efficiency as knowledge workers typically spend 19 percent of their time looking for the information they need to do their jobs.
Likewise, a wiki website is an ideal solution for documenting the history of your company. As every successful organization is bound to change all the time, a wiki presents an opportunity for every member to make note of this in a simplified way.
2. You Can Manage Internal Team Collaboration Better
If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your collaboration, then you may want to consider using a wiki website. When working on projects, your team will find a workplace wiki really handy.
You can also use a wiki website to:
- Organize troubleshooting solutions to common problems.
- Document meeting proceedures or deadlines.
- Enhance new team member onboarding.
Also, most corporate wikis integrate seamlessly with a lot of document and project management tools you may already use. For example, Google Drive is an important platform wikis can integrate.
3. Using a Wiki Drives Your Team Members to Learn and Produce More Results
A wiki website often provides an opportunity for your employees to take ownership of their learning curves. With the much-simplified system of finding information, your team members will generally feel more motivated not only to embark on their duties but also to seek to expand their expertise. This often arises from a desire to contribute to your company’s knowledge base.
When using a wiki, you can easily delegate research tasks to members of your team. The entire company can then benefit from their input. This inherently pushes your employees to improve their skills and offer more value to the organization.
By simplifying your workflow and making it easy to locate information, a wiki makes it possible for your employees to build on the previous work of other users, too. When they come across outdated information on the wiki, they can easily revise the content of your business website.
In general, wikis help to engage your team members more productively and increase their level of expertise. They can collect more information in a shorter period of time and deliver better results.
4. A Wiki Site Can Be Used for Content Marketing
When it comes to digital marketing, content authority is crucial. A collaborative wiki helps you to regularly put together enough information in one place to build credibility as an authority in your industry.
This will also impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) positively. Search rankings rely heavily on internal and external link building. You can use a wiki website to link to highly relevant content on your website. This way, your brand becomes even more visible to customers looking for information about your products or services.
Basecamp’s public handbook, which is hosted on GitHub, is an excellent example:
Slite is another wiki worthy of note:
It consists of three different sections aimed at providing information about the team, marketing strategy, and the product.
5. Running a Wiki Website is Cost-Effective
A study by Glassdoor puts the average US employer’s expenditure on hiring a new worker at $4,000. The entire process lasts approximately 24 days. However, as we’ve noted, a well-developed wiki website can significantly ease up these costs in productivity.
Plus, we also mentioned that a wiki can help employees find required information faster, boosting efficiency further. When you consider all the factors involved, it becomes clear that a wiki website makes perfect sense from a financial standpoint.
By simplifying your organizational processes and improving your staff expertise, a wiki website often has a direct impact on your company’s profitability. Since you’re now able to achieve better productivity within your team and also offer more value to the general public, wikis deliver an excellent Return on Investment (ROI).
A wiki website is all about gathering information, organizing it properly, and making continuous changes. If you want to better your team’s collaborative efforts and deliver more value, then you may want to consider creating one yourself.
For a quick recap, here are some of the practical ways your company can benefit from a wiki site:
- A wiki site helps to effectively document and organize all your information.
- You can manage internal team collaboration better.
- Using a wiki drives your team members to learn and produce more results.
- A wiki site can be used for content marketing.
- Running a wiki website is cost-effective.
Are you thinking about launching a wiki website for your business? Check out our services and learn how A2 Hosting can help!
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.