| 24 June, 2021 | 5 Min Read

Inside Tesla company culture: Innovative and propelling

There’s more to Tesla’s innovative electric vehicles than meets the eye. The company culture of this fast-rising automotive industry helps its employees achieve the impossible. And we’d be showing you how the work environment at Tesla births success.

Tesla CEO - Elon Musk is showing other industries how the work environment in a company can spark innovation. At Tesla, the company culture encourages its workforce to relentlessly come up with new ideas and solutions that meet the global market demands.

The young company which has taken the automotive industry by storm is sharing how they made so much progress in little time. In this article, we’ll be showing you what makes the company culture at Tesla so unique and effective.

About Tesla

Tesla is an American electric vehicle company that seeks to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and aid the world’s transition to sustainable energy. 

Today, Tesla has over 70,000 employees and five large facilities in the United States, China, and Europe, and 35 office locations across 9 countries. With over 499,000 units of electric vehicles sold globally, the iconic automotive company has played a huge role in achieving clean energy. Tesla keeps making its way to the top of the automotive industry and keeps scaling to become a symbol of electric cars as they surpass the 1 million mark of electric vehicles produced in 2020.

Grove HR - Tesla company culture

The working life at Tesla


Their unique approach - How Tesla builds its company culture

Elon Musk - founder of Tesla, known for his unconventional personality and one-of-a-kind leadership style, greatly impacts the way he builds company culture.

Reducing meeting sizes

One of the key strategies involves keeping meeting sizes small. This not only enhances productivity but also ensures that only crucial contributors are present, thereby optimizing time management. The use of productivity apps could further streamline these processes and ensure efficient time utilization.

On most occasions, these meetings usually include 4-6 people who have value offering at the meeting. The company believes in the importance of productivity and time management. Elon prefers that employees be engaged in productive tasks instead of spending long hours in a meeting where they are not particularly needed.

Skip-level meetings

Skip-level meetings are another unique aspect of Tesla’s culture. Musk believes that more layers of communication can lead to information loss, hence he encourages direct interaction. This practice, combined with 360 feedback tools, can foster open communication and reduce potential misunderstandings.

Broad spans of control

At Tesla, employees aren't confined by rigid rules. They are encouraged to perform their jobs as they see fit, as long as it yields positive results. This freedom fosters innovation and creativity, contributing to the company's growth.

To support this, Tesla invests heavily in employee training, often conducted by top leaders and managers. The use of HR Software could facilitate this process, providing a platform for scheduling and tracking these training sessions.

Grove HR - Tesla company culture - Elon Musk quote

Trust and responsibility

Employees at Tesla are given a lot of responsibility and are trusted to handle the situation perfectly. Musk only hires motivated and smart people, hence, he has high expectations and standards. The educational background of its employees doesn’t matter as long as they have a track record of exceptional achievement.

Employees at all levels are to carry out their tasks at the company as they own it. Tesla ensures that all employees are intentional about the success of the company.

Youth culture

Most Tesla's leaders are young and smart talents who quickly develop into their roles and are eager to learn how to do things better. Employees at Tesla are prompted to try out something new and out of their comfort zone. Its Performance Acceleration program contributes to the rapid adaptation of young employees at the company, as it helps them learn the ways of innovators in that field.

Tesla prioritizes talent mobility and career management, which also contributes to the agile learning process of its employees.

Why it works

Tesla is all about the growth and development of its employees. Every value and policy imposed on its employees all head in one direction, and that is how they can keep improving. Tesla employees are encouraged to work hard and smart while taking necessary breaks in-between to prevent a mental shutdown.

The culture at Tesla also empowers teams to work closely together and experiment with new things, yet keeping them aligned with the business goals.

How to apply it

If you find the Tesla company culture embraceable, you’d need to get it done the right way. Here is how to do it using Tesla’s six main corporate culture features.

Move fast

Ensure that your employees are moving at a fast pace as trends and markets are changing. This way, they can build resilience by responding to challenges in the industry as quickly as possible.

Do the impossible

Organize seminars and development programs that encourage employees to be creative. Encourage employees to go beyond the conventional limits of productivity and do what others are afraid to do.

Constantly innovate

Embrace ideas and opinions at all levels as sometimes the most innovative ideas come from the least-expected person.

Study market trends and question them. Look at things other people are doing or something that has been done and do it differently. Boil things down to the fundamental truth and reason up from there.

“You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends.” - Elon Musk

Think like owners

Be supportive of business development and encourage employees to do so. Employees need to take responsibility for the rise and fall of their project and take these changes personally.

We are ALL-IN team spirit

Team collaboration makes the work culture successful. Team members should be encouraged to work together and support each other. Foster the team mission: we are building something that will make the future better together.

The truth about Tesla company culture

Innovation is Tesla’s one true drive. Every action and formulated policies aim at increasing the pace of innovation. The corporate culture at Tesla helps employees get better and acquire a better skill-set that is resourceful to the company at large.

However, the fast-paced work environment is a lot for most employees to soak in. There’s only so much innovation a company can achieve at a time and employees may experience frequent burnouts while trying to meet Tesla’s standards.

Therefore, keeping the balance between innovation and tenure and experience is essential.

If you want to know the state of your company culture, utilize this template, send out a survey and find out!

Download free Ultimate Company Culture Survey →

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