When a company wiki is set up well, it can be an invaluable tool. Company wikis establish a single source of truth for how things are done, speed up onboarding, and make employees’ jobs easier.
However, if a company wiki isn’t well organized, it can waste time instead of saving it. A wiki that’s confusing to navigate or filled with irrelevant information may not even be used at all.
If your employees are reluctant to look up information on your company’s wiki, that may be a warning sign. It could signal that it’s time for some much-needed maintenance.
If you want to level up your company wiki, here are some places where you can start.
1. Examine your taxonomy
Clearly labeled categories and an intuitive taxonomy can make a world of difference. The first step in leveling up your wiki is to take a close look at how your taxonomy is set up. When users don’t find information where they expect to find it, they can easily get frustrated.
Since your perspective may be a little different from that of other employees, it’s a good idea to have them help you assess your taxonomy. You can ask your colleagues to try to find information and report back on how easy their experience was. This “user testing” can enable you to identify where employees may hit snags while looking up information.
2. Use intuitive tags
Part of having a good taxonomy is ensuring information is tagged with the same keywords that users would use to search for it. Tags help improve search functioning while also making it easier for users to find related information.
Make sure you’ve established a consistent set of relevant and accurate tags. If retagging every page on your existing wiki would be too overwhelming, company wiki software can assist by suggesting relevant tags.
3. Give departments control over their own pages
No one understands a job as well as the person who does it every day. Seasoned employees will immediately know what information needs to be made available in a company wiki and how it should be organized.
Appoint experts from each department to verify and maintain the information in the wiki that’s related to their roles. Doing this lessens the burden on human resources, while making the wiki more accurate and applicable. To streamline the process, you can use wiki software that makes it easy to assign experts to content and automatically routes relevant questions to them.
4. Allow users to import content from elsewhere
Everyday business doesn’t happen in your wiki. It happens on Slack, in Google Docs, in Salesforce, and in dozens of other software tools your employees use on a daily basis. Copying information from these frequently used programs into the company wiki is often too cumbersome a process for busy employees to bother with.
However, if you have wiki software that enables easy content importing, that’s another story. Employees can upload best practice documentation or summaries of new policies the moment they’re created. This could mean integration with other commonly used software or a browser extension that allows for easy capture from web apps. The best wiki software can offer both.
5. Review and update content regularly
When employees have to sift through old, outdated information in your wiki, they’re not likely to use it. Yet it’s very common for information in company wikis to become outdated while no one’s watching. After all, you and your employees are busy. No one has time to click through the entire wiki to make certain everything’s up-to-date.
If you truly want to level up your wiki, though, it’s important to establish processes for how and when the content will be vetted and updated. You may want to set up a schedule for this task to occur, choosing a specific time frame each year or quarter. The experts from each department can be responsible for carrying out these content audits. Wiki software that enables efficient updating and alerts you to duplicate content can make this task run more smoothly.
It may sound like a drain on your time, but if content is evaluated on a regular basis, updating will be a breeze. On top of that, an up-to-date wiki saves time for your business as a whole when it comes to things like onboarding and problem solving. Remember, your corporate wiki is there to give your employees the intel they need to make smart decisions. It can’t do that if the information it contains was last refreshed five years ago.
6. Sync your wiki with other software tools
As mentioned earlier, importing content from other tools makes wiki management easier. But what if you could have content imported automatically?
Advanced wiki software can sync with some of the most widely used business software so you can import new information with minimal effort. Syncing your wiki with your other software will ensure content is constantly updated without placing an undue burden on your employees.
7. Keep track of who’s using the wiki and when
You can’t know if a tool is successful without data on its use. You likely have a clear idea in your mind of which employees should be viewing the wiki and what pages they should be referencing. If traffic to the wiki is lower than expected or different than planned, that means the wiki isn’t reaching its full potential.
Most software gives you rudimentary insight into how often certain pages are accessed or updated. Advanced wiki software can go a step further by telling you who is and isn’t consuming important content.
Some products feature AI technology that tells you when people are accessing what information. The AI component then uses that data to suggest improvements. With this kind of information on hand, you can judge the success of your content or taxonomy and decide where improvements are needed.
Company wikis are invaluable tools, but they can become next to useless if they’re not maintained well. A few best practices and advanced wiki management software can help you build a wiki that your employees will love to reference.
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