Working doesn’t need to be a downer. Just look at the wonderful world of Walt Disney. One of the company’s most iconic songs, “Whistle While You Work,” shows Snow White and a host of animals banding together to cheerfully complete a variety of tasks. It’s certainly an uplifting message, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the experience of most American workers. There are reports of increasing dissatisfaction among the nation’s workforce, with one study even indicating that a majority of workers actually consider themselves to be unhappy. It’s a big problem for employers, who must rely on staff morale to serve clients’ needs and achieve productivity goals. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, however, bosses can turn those frowns upside-down. Here are three ways to motivate workers and lift sunken spirits.

Be Flexible

Workers want to feel empowered, and one way in which companies are making that happen is by accommodating flex scheduling and remote work. Some employees are on a task-based schedule rather than time-based, with the option of choosing his or her own work hours. Others take advantage of the opportunity to work from home or from other locations, such as coffee shops or parks.

Be Active

Many employers seek out physical activities to establish fitter, happier and more productive workers. Some businesses establish an on-site fitness center for employees or reimburse gym memberships and offer time off for exercising. A great way to build teamwork is by sponsoring company sports teams or hosting events like golf tournament contests.

Be Supportive

Sometimes individuals just want to know that the work he or she does matters. This is the easiest and least cost-prohibitive way to increase happiness among the staff. Establish rewards and recognition programs to highlight individual departments and employees. In many cases, a few words of encouragement or gratitude and a simple pat on the back can go a long way.

Workplace unhappiness is a problem for employees and employers alike. These three tips, however, will help the situation improve for everyone.

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