How to Create an Internal Knowledge Base?
Learn every detail about what is an internal knowledge base, how to create and manage one, and how it benefits the organization.
Is knowledge management important in improving the efficiency and productivity of an organization? As per a study by Coveo, the average employee spends 3.6 hours daily searching for information. Moreover, 31% of those surveyed said the frustration of being unable to find information made them feel burned out, and 16% said it made them want to leave their company. Knowledge management can save valuable time otherwise spent seeking relevant information. If you are looking for a way to organize all the information within your organization and streamline the way it is accessed by everyone, creating an internal knowledge base is the answer. Read on to learn every detail about what is an internal knowledge base, how to create and manage one, and understand how it benefits the organization.
What is an Internal Knowledge base?
Internal knowledge bases are repositories of knowledge about a company, its policies, and its products. These for-employee-only sites allow companies to share knowledge and best practices with their employees. International knowledge bases are an efficient way of documenting the company's standard operating procedures and policies and much more information in a safe and secure manner. Both internal and external users can access this knowledge base through different means like an intranet, extranet, web portals, etc.
What does an Internal Knowledge base contain?
An internal knowledge base can be a great way to document, store and share the following type of information:
- Organizational information - All information specific to the organization, such as company details, contact lists, organizational charts, employee details, financial statements, and any other confidential information that has to be safely and securely shared within a specific department of an organization.
- Company Policies - All the company policies, such as HR policies, security policies, privacy policies, legal policies, etc., can be maintained easily with regular updations and can be shared easily across the organization with the help of an internal knowledge base.
- Step-by-step instructional documentation - Any how-to guides that are relevant within each department - such as how to use the access card, how to install a printer, etc., are all information that needs to be shared with everyone, and it becomes easier when managed using a structured internal knowledge base with categories.
- Training documentation - Department-specific training content can be created and shared with all employees to help them understand the skill level gaps and close them.
- Troubleshooting documentation - Maintaining troubleshooting information can help employees solve their tickets themselves and save time, otherwise spent raising a ticket and waiting for the ticket resolution.
- Case Studies - Any external research and case studies used for business activities can be safely maintained and organized within a specific department.
Benefits of an internal knowledge base
Here is how an internal knowledge base helps improve an organization's productivity.
- Reduced process time - An internal knowledge base can reduce the processing time for any task performed within your company by providing all the relevant information about that particular task in one place. This saves time for employees as well as customers.
- Improved Efficiency - By using an internal knowledge base, employees can perform their tasks more efficiently as they do not need to refer to various sources while performing a task. It also increases accuracy levels which ultimately leads to improved efficiency levels.
- Improved Customer Service - An internal knowledge base helps provide excellent customer service by ensuring no delay in answering customer queries or providing solutions. This also increases customer satisfaction, increasing sales due to positive word-of-mouth publicity from satisfied customers who recommend your services or products.
- Better communication and collaboration - Employees often feel frustrated when they have trouble finding the right information or documents. This directly affects their performance at work. Maintaining an internal knowledge base within the organization helps people to easily find the information they are looking for and also improves collaboration by enabling them to share the information with the team.
- Standardization of information - If information is scattered across different places, there is a high chance of losing some important information during the process. This can be avoided when everything is stored in a centralized place in an organized way, in other words, in an internal knowledge base. This also ensures easy maintenance of the information, keeping it up-to-date without any duplication or erroneous documentation.
- Easy onboarding - Maintaining an internal knowledge base for company-related information and training material allows for the fast and easy onboarding of new employees. It helps the entire team to keep the onboarding process hassle-free.
How to create an efficient internal knowledge base
Now that we know what an internal knowledge base is and its benefits, let's see the steps involved in implementing an efficient internal knowledge base for your organization.
It is important that the knowledge base's implementation must be aligned with the overall knowledge management strategy of the organization. Decide on the purpose, content, and team who will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the knowledge base.
- When planning your knowledge base's structure, it's important to consider how users will interact with it — especially when finding the information they need quickly and easily. The structure also depends on the type of content the knowledge base serves. For example, a knowledge base can be structured department-wise, with multiple levels of categorization to keep the content well organized.
It is a good practice to decide on the style of the knowledge base content beforehand so that all the articles are uniformly written. You can frame the tone of the voice and content type - such as text, images, gifs, video, etc.
Choose a Knowledge base software
There are several factors that you should consider while choosing the internal knowledge base software for your company:
- Easy to use - Creating a knowledge base is a huge task, and the tool should not impose further complexities but rather should help the team accomplish the implementation smoothly.
- Collaboration features - The software should have the flexibility to add team members and allow everyone to contribute to the knowledge base creation and maintenance.
- Integrations - If you are already maintaining the documents in a certain format, check if the software has integrations to easily import content to fast-track the knowledge base content creation.
- Search functionality - The ability to search through the knowledge base content is one of the most important features. You must ensure that the software has a good search feature at different levels - at the home page, the category level, etc. You can also evaluate the search performance of the tool since it might be an issue with a larger knowledge base.
- Media support - Check if the software allows you to easily upload or copy-paste images and videos to your knowledge base content.
- Language support - If your knowledge base must serve a global audience and you want to create content in multiple languages, you must also ensure that the knowledge base supports other languages.
Create and update
You can start creating content and publish, even if the entire knowledge base content has not been created yet.You can go slowly, continue to add content as your organization grows. Keeping the knowledge base up-to-date is another important criterion for having an efficient knowledge base. Whenever there are policy changes or major company announcements, you should check if the knowledge base content needs to be updated and which content needs to be changed.
The usefulness of a knowledge base lies in how well it comes in handy to the employees or the users. Hence share the knowledge base link with everyone in the organization and educate them on how to use it.
Encourage employees to contribute to the knowledge base or to provide feedback on missing content. This helps build the knowledge base with everything your employees are searching for.
Choose the right Knowledge base software and get started!
Having an internal knowledge base for the organization not only help in boosting the productivity of the employees but also keeps them all engaged and avoids losing out on critical information. With every employee accessing this information, you will see a great decrease in redundant tasks and more efficient work executed by your team.
WowTo is a great option if you want to create a video knowledge base for your company. Video knowledge bases are more engaging and helps your employees to gain information without having to read through lengthy boring documents.
If you can write a knowledge base article, you can create a video with WowTo. Host your videos in a branded knowledge base to match your company and translate them into 20+ languages for a global audience. Create your first video for free today.