Research shows that more diverse organizations are more innovativemore profitable and have greater employee engagement than those that lack diversity. When you get individuals of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions and physical abilities together on a team, you wind up with an incredibly rich tapestry of outlooks and perspectives that bring greater depth to the work you do. I think there’s no question that diversity should be a key priority for every organization.

But diversity doesn’t just happen on its own. It requires commitment and concerted efforts to be made by leadership. My colleagues and I have been putting in the work to make our nonprofit organization exemplary in terms of diversity, and it’s been paying off.

If you’re not sure where to begin, these four steps can help you move the dial on your organization’s diversity.

1. Address diversity and inclusion efforts constantly.

It’s simply not enough to talk about diversity and inclusion once or twice per year at company-wide meetings. Creating an inclusive work environment must be an ongoing conversation between leadership and staff.

2. Take a strong stance on supporting employees.

An important way to make staff from all backgrounds feel safe is to stand up for them in the face of abuse. I believe organizations must adopt a zero-tolerance policy on abuse—even if it means losing supporters. I used to tell my kids that they must never allow anyone to abuse them, mentally or physically. That’s also what I believe as the leader of IFAW.

3. Consider the face of the organization.

If you’ve succeeded in creating a diverse workplace, don’t be afraid to showcase it. Avoid focusing solely on the CEO as the voice of an organization, with all correspondence to donors sent out under their name, with the result that their face is the only image donors see of staff. When I took my position, I felt it was important for our supporters to hear other voices and see other faces, which was a fundamental shift from a brand point of view.

4. Prepare for change resistance.

Improving diversity often requires organizations to make big changes. I like change; in fact, I would say the one constant in my life has been change, so it’s not anxiety-provoking for me. But any form of change will likely be met with resistance from at least a few employees. Such resistance can prevent the organization from moving forward if not handled properly.

Read the full article about diversity in the workplace by Azzedine Downes at Forbes.