What’s the secret to productivity?

Happiness. According to several studies, happy employees are up to 20 percent more productive than unhappy employees. One study found that happiness has a great impact on salespeople and has proven to increase sales by 37 percent.

Although productivity is ultimately responsible for making businesses thrive, employers and candidates must learn to work together and have a clear understanding of what happiness means in the workplace and how it can be achieved. And for employers, this means looking beyond financial incentives.

Read on to discover some tips for creating a happier workplace.

Respect Time
Productivity guru and author of “The Art of Winning Conversation,” Morrie Stettner, touts the 80/20 rule when it comes to time management: 80 percent of meaningful work results from 20 percent of our daily efforts. He encourages people to focus on three top priorities at the beginning of each day. A Harvard Business Review article cited “small wins” as a powerful contributing factor to an employee’s happiness: “If a person is motivated and happy at the end of the workday, it’s a good bet that he or she made some progress.”

Forge Friendships
You likely spend more time at work with your colleagues than at home with your family. There has long been a connection between workplace friendships and happiness. A survey conducted by Virgin Pulse found that nearly 40 percent of respondents identified their co-workers as the leading reason behind why they loved their company. What’s more is that 66 percent of respondents said that these relationships positively impacted their focus and productivity at work.

Make Happiness a Priority
An employer can only go so far to provide employees with a workplace full of perks. The rest is on you. While happiness can be influenced by DNA and life circumstances, Sonia Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and author of the bestselling book, “The How of Happiness,” suggests that we still control roughly 40 percent of our happiness. And that 40 percent is a lot. Invest in wellness programs, take PTO, or make work-life balance a priority — do whatever it takes to put yourself first.

It’s important to remember that happy employees often possess leadership skills that are instrumental in elevating a business to its highest potential. So whether you’re an employer or employee, take note of where you can make small changes that will ultimately yield higher productivity and meaningful growth.