Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into the organization and its culture. Tactics used in this process include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations to introduce newcomers to their new jobs and organizations. Research has demonstrated that these socialization techniques lead to positive outcomes for new employees such as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in occupational stress and intent to quit. These outcomes are particularly important to an organization looking to retain a competitive advantage in an increasingly mobile and globalized workforce. In the United States, for example, up to 25% of workers are organizational newcomers engaged in an onboarding process.

The onboarding process is a time when employees need to feel welcomed to the team and have everything clearly explained to them so that they can hit full productivity in their new role faster. Active ONA enables the identification of informal leaders, who can be positioned as "buddies" to new hires during their adaptation period. This results in shorter time-to-productivity, lower turnover risk and a better employee experience for the new hire.