Summary: Build an IT knowledge database that employees will use in 3 easy steps including; adding necessary information, maintaining relevancy and promoting regularly.

Many departments in your organization are frequently asked the same questions over and over. The solution? A dedicated knowledge database where departments can share their knowledge and reduce time spent answering repetitive questions.

After speaking to our clients it became evident that IT departments were often falling victim to a knowledge bottleneck. IT teams are critical for organizations to run smoothly and because they assist all departments, they often field a lot of questions. Although IT departments initially inspired us to write about creating an engaging knowledge database, the concepts discussed can be applied universally to all departments or the organization as a whole.

What is a knowledge database?
A knowledge base (KB for short) is a technology used to store information. A knowledge database application is included in out-of-the-box intranet software solutions such as Intranet Connections.

What are the benefits of a knowledge database?

  • Reduce email communication
  • Minimize mistakes due to misinformation/slow response
  • Secure knowledge during staff turnovers or mergers/acquisitions
  • Improve employee onboarding

How do you build an IT knowledge database that employees will use?

A knowledge database is a living/breathing resource for your department so it has to be fed relevant information, maintained, and promoted regularly. There are 2 considerations when setting up a knowledge database in your intranet:

  1. Assign a single user who posts both questions and answers. They can add questions they consistently receive and set up an online form for questions. *Best Method*
  2. Allow any users to post content with one employee who approves submitted content before it’s published.

1. Include Necessary Information

Creating a KB for your organization, or department, may seem like a daunting task. The best way to begin is to work from past experience. Include questions you know employees have already asked for example;

  • What is the wifi password?
  • What are your IP addresses?
  • How do you set up the printer?
  • How do you update a voicemail message?

TIP: Make set-up a breeze! If you have a pre-existing corporate FAQ, populate your knowledge database immediately by uploading a CSV import to your intranet.

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2. Maintain Relevancy

Once you have the necessities, keep the content relevant and fresh! If you’re the owner, or approval admin, add questions received via email immediately or create an online form to collect questions. Turn on comments and ratings to receive feedback on the value and accuracy of content posted.

TIP: Do you have weekly meetings or daily huddles? Turn these into an opportunity to ask employees if they have any questions!

3. Promote Regularly

Your content will only be read if it’s easy to find and readily available. Promote your KB to ensure it’s at employees fingertips by adding it to your drop down department site menu bar and adding appropriate tags for searchability. Turn on ‘advertise now’ when posting new content that can be displayed on your homepage news feed!

TIP: Make content engaging by including HTML, images and videos. HTML is easier to read and better for search as it pulls a preview and loads attachments directly from the search results.

Are you interested in created a knowledge database for your company or have you created one using your company intranet? We want to hear from you in the comment section below! See a knowledge database in action by requesting a demo.

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