There's nothing like the rush of that call or email that extends you a  new job offer. But job anxiety can flare up within the first few months as people learn to adjust to their new workload--throw a pandemic into the mix and those feelings only become heightened.

Millions quit their jobs to join the Great Resignation, but the process of quitting one job and starting a new one is remarkably different compared with just two years ago. There comes a time where some of that new-job excitement fizzles out and reality sets in: assimilating into an unfamiliar work environment. 

The first few weeks a new employee is on the job need to be very structured and carefully planned, says Martin Hoffmann, a principal in the engagement practice at Buck, an HR consulting firm based in New York City. 

Hoffmann recommends employers implement an onboarding portal that clearly communicates expectations and priorities for new workers. This helps eliminate scenarios in which new reports log in for their first day having no idea what to expect. He further suggests carving out opportunities for newbies to connect with the team and to help facilitate these connections.

As the weeks pass, some workers may feel that their window to ask questions is narrowing with each workday they accrue. But Hoffmann has a solution for that as well: virtual open office hours. Managers can set up a recurring time on their calendars and invite new workers to pop into a low stakes environment to ask whatever questions they may have.

"This gives new employees an opportunity for new touch points," he says.

But business owners shouldn't stop there. Hoffmann says that employers should also consider implementing a "buddy system," a scenario that pairs a new worker with another colleague in the same role. And for workers who are not remote, communicating Covid-19 protocols and the safety measures in place can help reduce concerns related to the pandemic. 

With the growing disconnect and isolation that some workers experience if they are WFH, welcome kits can also be useful in fostering new connections.

"It can't be the same old cheap coffee mug that people already have," he explains, continuing that such packages should be meaningful. "Bring the best of your brand to that."