How to Encourage Team Collaboration Using Company Wiki
A company Wiki is a knowledge sharing tool used by corporations to improve employee engagement. In today’s high-tech age, wikis can be a useful platform for collaboration over long distances and serve the purpose of a repository for documents shared within the teams. It can prove to be a powerful tool for onboarding any new hire by providing a single source of information on business objectives, training, policies, regulations, culture, and HR guidelines. It also acts like a centralized online repository for the existing employees to receive valuable information to complete their responsibilities successfully.
What is a Company Wiki?
For any company, the knowledge of their employees is a valuable asset, which can boost the company’s ability to stay in competition. A company wiki is a collaborative, knowledge-sharing website that is internal to a company and can be used as a platform for storing, sharing and retrieving knowledge. The data available on the wiki can be related to various topics, projects, departments, and policies.
How do Wikis work and what are the Advantages of having a Company Wiki?
Since wiki software is a web-based platform, it is very intuitive. Content can be cross-referenced and linked to each other. It is editable and can be organized in the form of threads and documents. If employees come across valuable information, they can access, edit, or publish any changes without waiting for the supervisor’s approval. Some of the key advantages of having a company wiki include:
- Employee Collaboration: Company wikis encourage collaborations between teams and employees within any team. They provide a sharing platform that can organically grow into a permanent knowledge database. Wikis can create a robust system for communication and reduce employee attrition by improving access to knowledge that already exists within a company. A team wiki system also leverages the resources required to promote transparency and allow employees to collaborate and participate in collective decision making.
- Real-time information availability: Company wikis are easily accessible platforms that are continuously evolving and being populated with the latest information in real-time. Multiple users can create repositories and archive them in chronological order through collaboration and shared authoring.
Challenges in Maintaining the Wiki System
Although the wiki system is beneficial in improving the partnership between employees and in helping increase work efficiency, it does come with challenges:
- Learning the functions can be challenging: Just like learning any new software, there is a learning curve involved with understanding the company wiki system. Companies may need to have dedicated project leaders or hire third parties to train their employees in learning the wiki software. Even after all members are onboarded it remains a challenge to push employees to actively use the system to share knowledge.
- Big data with limited analytics capability: Wiki systems usually do not have any proper structure of content as there are several contributors providing information and populating the system. Lack of such structured content can result in some of the data being outdated, but still cluttering the system. This can be overwhelming to a new hire trying to navigate through excessive disorganized data.
Wiki software also provides limited analytics and search capabilities. Most of the employees are habitual to using search engines on a daily basis. Not having this functionality on the software can be discouraging. Limited analytics also means the lack of insights on content gaps, employees’ software use, and knowledge contribution.
What is a Knowledge Management System?
An internal knowledge management system is a company wiki with additional benefits. The key advantage of using a knowledge management system is having a role-based control on the knowledge database. This system is designed to curate content by providing write access only to dedicated authors with a specific role. Thus, all employees can view the content, but only selected authors may have access to create content. This helps to provide logical and structured information thereby increasing operational efficiency, empowering employees, improving cross-disciplinary collaboration, and building a culture of knowledge-sharing.
Benefits of Knowledge Management System
A knowledge management system provides the following additional benefits:
- Increased Employee Productivity: Knowledge management system provides better tools for logical documentation so that knowledge is captured, organized and retained in a structured format. This helps save time, improve employee engagement thereby increasing a company’s sales and profits.
- Analytics and Reporting: The system allows the team to measure the quality of data and provides reports on parameters like content usage and active users. This helps to identify gaps in the system and measure the overall efficiency of the system.
- Information Security by High-End Encryption: High-end encryption in the system provides a secure internal communication platform and protect critical company knowledge from cyber trespassers.
What is AllAnswered and what are its Benefits?
AllAnswered is a knowledge management system that helps companies organize their knowledge base and keep it updated with workflow.
AllAnswered categorizes knowledge into two categories:
- explicit or expressive knowledge which is the knowledge that can be easily defined, articulated, written-down, stored and transferred in the form of reports, manuals, operating guidelines, etc.
- tacit or implicit knowledge which employees gain due to personal experience and interaction with other employees. Such knowledge cannot be verbalized and transferred easily.
It is estimated that 80% of the knowledge in any company is majorly tacit knowledge, while 20% is explicit knowledge. When an employee leaves the company, the tacit knowledge that they hold is lost since it cannot be documented. AllAnswered solves this problem by providing a system to safeguard from potential knowledge loss and ensure critical knowledge and expertise are not lost.
AllAnswered provides features to create open or private communities for various departments, projects, or groups within the same organization. Each community can create pages, records, or posts. A page is designed to capture explicit knowledge that is dynamically evolving. Records are designed to capture explicit knowledge that is static. While, posts are designed to capture tacit knowledge by asking Q&As, organizing polls, discussions, surveys, and announcements.
AllAnswered allows the company to highlight and filter the main topics of the content using labeled tags. Employees can request for reviews if they notice any issues with the content. This allows for streamlined information organization and easy accessibility as and when needed. AllAnswered has analytical tools and dashboards to provide immediate insights on how employees are utilizing the system and helps find potential knowledge gaps. AllAnswered is the leader in the modern knowledge management system, offering a complete solution to company’s knowledge management needs.