Musk’s management style is undeniably aggressive and, to some observers, short-sighted and mean-spirited.
Against this backdrop, the 2018 Tesla employee review has now emerged.
“An ugly part of Tesla culture”
The survey, which was cited in early November in a lawsuit filed by a Tesla shareholder over Musk’s $50 billion pay package, shows that employees have formally filed complaints about culture and leadership at the company.
“Tesla is churning out very talented, fiercely focused people who truly believe in the company’s vision and continue to hope for its success,” wrote one worker in the study, which was
revealed Insider. “Elon is a technical leader of the highest order and yet is widely perceived as an unapproachable tyrant who devalues the contributions of staff and can fire them on a whim…we treat people, the core unit of a company, like any other usable resource.”
Insider reported that the worker added that Tesla “fails to distinguish between technical leadership and people leadership” and called it an “ugly part of Tesla’s culture.”
The survey also revealed the results of employee favorability ratings in response to a number of questions. The weakest favorability scores were in the areas of compensation and trust in Musk and his executive team to balance the interests of employees with those of the company.
Tesla is an ‘extremely toxic environment’
The employee survey revealed a number of additional comments expressing concern. These include the following:
“Ilan needs to take responsibility for the position he’s put the team in.” He and JB should take it upon themselves. They must immediately stop firing everyone who reports to them and remove any threats to the way they do business. I feel at any moment I or someone around me will be fired and I don’t plan to stay much longer in this extremely toxic environment.”
“…the blame placed by Elon and the Exec team on lower level engineers without any accountability for the poor level of design review, planning not based on reality, and under-allocation of resources made me to lose all confidence in Elon as the leader of this company.”
“… enable people to not be bullied by Elon into making unrealistic commitments.”
“I think more effort needs to be put into the culture here at Tesla. I know that work is extremely important and that we all need to work hard, but we also need outlets to express and have fun on a more personal level … There are also few announcements from Elon Musk and the executive team. .. I think it is important [they] reach out to the company from time to time with exciting updates so we feel more of a sense of community and belonging.”