I don't know about everyone else, but I can't wait to jump into summer. Although summer officially arrived last week, with all the rain we've been having in Boston (as well as other parts of the country), it doesn't feel like it's quite here yet.

Now is a great time to bring a more casual, fun atmosphere into the workplace and let our hair down a bit, without relaxing our commitment to business goals and client service excellence.

I've been working with my team to come up with creative ways for all of us to come together and build on our sense of camraderie. Here are some of the ideas we came up with — please let us know some of yours:

  • Host a barbeque: Bring in a grill, throw on some patties, open a bag of chips and you're good to go.
  • Game day: Schedule a lunch hour, late afternoon or early evening when employees can come together over Pictionary, Family Feud, Trivial Pursuit or other games. A fun twist on this is to compile a trivia quiz about your employees and see how much you know about each other.
  • Talent show: Uncover the hidden talent on your team by hosting a talent event or have employees work together to create funny skits about life at work.
  • Hawaii 5-0: Turn your office into a Hawaiian paradise, at least for an afternoon. Greet everyone with leis, pipe in ukelele music, and encourage employees to dress in costume.
  • Run an afternoon matinee: Bring in a DVD, some popcorn and get the team together to enjoy a movie classic.
  • Have an ice cream social: Ice cream with all the toppings will be a hit on a hot summer day.

These are just a few of our ideas—I'm sure your team can come up with many more. In addition to these fun activities, there are other ways that you can recognize team members for all their hard work in this very tough year. You might publicize an employee's achievements in their hometown paper or write a personal note to the families of team members, acknowledging employees' hard work and contributions during the year.

So kick up your heels, enjoy spending time together and let the summer fun begin! And please share some of your ideas and summer successes in the comments section of this blog.

Read more about what Nancy and her team are doing to develop Exceptional Workplaces at http://www.insightperformance.com/blog/ or on their Facebook Page.