How Can We Improve the Onboarding Experience for New Think Tankers?

Call for Participation in the Community Challenge (closed)
Header Image with Think Tank Lab logo and following text: How Can We Improve the Onboarding for new Think Tankers?


Why launch a community challenge on the onboarding experience for new think tankers

Starting out as a new think tanker can be a daunting task. And how quickly one grows into this role, integrates into a think tank, builds up a network and reputation, very much depend on the onboarding processes available. The first few months in a new think tank are therefore a crucial time. They can determine how fast the new think tanker finds his or her feet.

Likewise, think tanks have a great interest in integrating new think tankers. Research suggests that it typically takes up to eight months for a new hire to reach their potential. That is a long time. Onboarding processes, induction programs and other tools can help cut this time down. They also provide a whole range of other positive outcomes ranging from increased performance and job satisfaction to high commitment to the organization and decreased occupational stress.

In our research, we have learned that onboarding new colleagues is a challenge for many think tanks. Several colleagues shared that they were struggling to navigate the think tank business and find their role when they first started working at a think tank.

We want to help change that.

Aim of the Community Challenge

In this community challenge, we identified the key difficulties that new think tankers and their respective organizations face in their starting months. Based on this, we will jointly develop a toolbox – a think tank starter kit – that new think tankers and think tank organizations can draw on to improve the onboarding experience and support the early-stage development of new think tankers.

Why join the Community Challenge

By joining this community challenge, participants have the chance to work with an exciting group of peers in designing tools to help new think tankers get started in their new organizations, thereby allowing you to have a direct lasting impact on the development of the next generation of think tankers and the German think tank landscape at large. You will have the opportunity to engage with external speakers at the meetings, share experiences and exchange good practices with peers. All contributions produced by the participants will be duly publicly acknowledged.

For whom is it

All think tank staff are welcome to join – whether you are working in HR and want to improve your think tank’s onboarding process, a senior think tanker looking back to your early days and wishing to give back by sharing your experience, or an intern starting out in the think tank world. We explicitly encourage people with minority backgrounds or discrimination experience to apply and to contribute.         

How we worked

The group met once a month digitally for about 2 hours with participants contributing in between meetings by pursuing projects collectively agreed upon by the group.