The purpose of this exploratory study was to understand 'hardiness' as defined and operationalized by senior health executives, and to explore the options for increasing the hardiness of the health-care workforce. Previous research has shown that hardiness is important in the workplace as a means to reduce or avoid the negative impact of stress, which then has an association with the maintenance of individual health. Hardiness has been thought to play an important role in assisting health-care workers deal with emotional and stressful work environments. In depth interviews were conducted with senior managers in a Victorian health service to explore hardiness and determine whether the senior executives had identified hardiness as a factor related to performance, how they recognized it within their staff and how hardiness might be enhanced within the organization. The senior managers were able to identify hardy members of their staff, whom they largely described as high performers. We argue that there is opportunity to strengthen health-care organizations by identifying and supporting hardy staff members. Our findings suggest that health-care organizations can teach the concept of hardiness, select hardy employees and develop strategies to assist employees to increase their levels of hardiness in the workplace.