[Excerpt from authors] Health human resources have emerged as a top priority for research and action. This paper echoes calls for a fundamentally new approach to the people side of the health care system - treating employees as assets that need to be nurtured rather than costs that need to be controlled. The question guiding the paper is: "What are the key ingredients of a high-quality work environment in Canada's health care sector and how can this goal be achieved?" Synthesizing insights from a variety of research streams, the paper identifies many ingredients are needed to create a high-quality workplace. We take a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, which complements other research initiatives on health human resources in three ways. The paper suggests that health care organizations can, and must, achieve a virtuous circle connecting work environments, individual quality of work life, and organizational performance.