Empower Employees With A Wiki

It’s been a while since my last post, and for good reason. I started a new job in early November and then in mid-November I moved into a new house. Big changes with a lot going on to say the least.

With all these changes, my ideas haven’t slowed, but they have changed a bit. Being at a different company sparks different types of ideas. Solutions for each company are as unique as the company itself.

In order to empower employees at a company, there is no single solution. A social network will do it for some, others need a mobile content network to empower field employees mobile devices. There are many others, but there is one I believe is often overlooked.

Empower Employees With A Wiki - People across the table from each other with a tablet and cell phone on table, taking notes on paper

The most overlooked method of empowering employees in this social age is the wiki. They’ve been around for some time,  even a relic from Web 1.0, therefore may be overlooked as old technology.

Pairing a wiki with modern technology can do just the trick to create a vast network of social learning. The modern technology I have in mind is responsive web design, a wiki that can be used on any device, from anywhere. Employees are directly tasked with creating, maintaining, and sharing the knowledge. That’s power.

The power a wiki gives employees is immeasurable, it makes the employee a direct contributor, not just a passive consumer. It even gamifies the learning process as co-workers can see who the biggest contributor is, or who had recent updates.

Some organizations already take advantage of the strengths of a wiki. I’ve experienced its strengths first hand, and it can truly empower employees, making them feel the power they have to decide where the company goes, and what type of impression they leave on it for years to come.

A Learning & Development department that can learn to be enablers of learning, not gatekeepers of learning is a Learning & Development department that will continue to be relevant for a very long time.

The department will thrive and be relevant to the companies growth on a larger scale than without the wiki. Formal training is necessary, but it’s impossible to keep up with everything, embrace the knowledge share.

Finding ways to manage the information and tap into the raw learning power of an organization is a skill every L & D department must master.

It Costs Too Much

No, it really doesn’t.

You don’t have to make anything fancy or even pay for a wiki. In fact some of the wikis that cost money are more difficult and cumbersome to use than a free wiki.

It probably costs more money to keep one person on staff than the entire development of a responsive wiki, it would require working closely with IT though, if you dare.

The benefits of a company wiki far outweigh any costs, knowledge would be managed by employees, self-correcting as it is on Wikipedia, and powerful because of the motivation it can give employees.

There are free solutions out there, the most well-known would be MediaWiki which many are already familiar with, including yourself if you’ve ever been to Wikipedia. That’s right. Free, open source code runs one of the most successful knowledge websites on the Internet.

A bit of development time in designing a responsive framework for your wiki, a place to house It all, and you will have possibly one of the most successful knowledge sharing technologies on earth.

Have You Seen The Power of the Wiki?

I know there are many cases of a wiki being used at companies to share information. Can you share your success stories or successes you’ve seen?

How else can you see a wiki improving the performance of employees?

Please share your thoughts on using a company wiki to share knowledge and foster the open culture that every company needs moving forward.