Despite the ever-increasing practice of using e-learning in the workplace, most of the applications perform poorly in motivating employees to learn. Most workplace e-learning applications fail to meet the needs of learners and ultimately fail to serve the organization's quest for success. To solve this problem, we need to examine what workplace e-learning requires and how workplace e-learning systems should be developed in line with those requirements. We investigated the problem by identifying the fundamental elements of the workplace learning environment including the learner, organization, learning content and social context, and their relationships. We found that workplace e-learning should align individual and organizational learning needs, connect learning and work performance, and support social interaction among individuals. To achieve this, a performance-oriented approach is proposed in this study. Key performance indicators are utilized to clarify organizational goals, make sense of work context and requests on work performance, and accordingly help employees set up rational learning objectives and enhance their learning process. Using this approach, a prototype system has been developed and a set of experiments have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.