Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, is known for his iconoclastic and unconventional personality and his management style. Tesla's employee manual, which reflects Musk's style, was leaked and published by Internal of the business community.
If you’re a human resources professional or a Tesla internal lawyer, the employee’s manual should be a source of great anxiety. For workers, it's incredible.
The manual provides a warning to all employees:
"If you're looking for a traditional employee manual filled with policies and rules, you won't find one. Policies and rules tell you where the bottom is - they tell you poor performance before showing you the door. It’s not us. "
Typically, employee manuals are long, boring, loaded with jargon and written in an authoritative tone. It is not clear if anyone in corporate history has ever read and understood their company manual. The exception is when there is a problem, so you find it, start reading, and give up quickly because it is incomprehensible, dense, and confusing.
The Tesla Handbook is like its founder - unadorned, straightforward and direct, holds people accountable and articulates requirements clearly and concisely.
Musk is looking for smart, motivated people and holding them accountable. He is open-minded about a person's background, but demands that people show up on time and produce. Tesla expects a lot from its employees to meet its standards of excellence.
According to Musk, it is not imperative that the employees come from leading universities. He believes, "If someone graduated from a large university, it may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but that is not necessarily the case. If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didn't graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, that would of course be a good idea. Musk tweeted, "A doctorate is definitely not necessary," and followed up on this statement by saying, "It doesn't matter if you even graduated from high school. "
Musk is looking for individuals who demonstrate "evidence of exceptional ability." And if there is a history of exceptional achievements, it is likely to continue in the future. "
According to the manual, trust is essential to the mission. The company offers its employees all its confidence and entrusts them with important responsibilities. It is believed that people with respect and trust will rise to the challenge and maintain the highest level of professionalism.
The most important thing, according to the manual, is that it is everyone's job to contribute to the success of the business. Each employee should act as if they were their owner. This means that if they have a good idea of how things can be done differently or better, they should share it with the appropriate managers. Employees are free to go up the chain of command, including Musk himself, if they believe they have something of value to offer. This edict allows everyone to take ownership of their work, their career and the future of Tesla.
One of the rules in the manual is to have fun at work. Employees are encouraged to make new friends, strive to be the best they can be, and take on new and exciting challenges. The company wants everyone to work hard, love what they do and have fun.
The straightforward tone of the manual is refreshing. You can almost hear Musk’s voice behind the manual’s warning that getting to work late every Monday morning because you’ve been late watching football is inexcusable because there are people who depend on you. “Traffic accidents happen, we understand that, but they don't happen every Monday during the football season. "
It is understood that if you are sick, you stay at home. "Don't be sick," says the manual.
"Our assumption will be that if you don't call and show up for work, you're a jerk. "
Ironically, some of the company's demands have been slightly - and sometimes blatantly - ignored by Musk himself. Over the years, he has transgressed some of Tesla's own principles. This includes calling a scuba diving expert who rescued children from a cave in Thailand a "pedo", a remark that brought him to court for defamation. (The jury finally ruled in favor of Musk.) To be honest, the insults are not clear in the manual.
When the company was going through difficult times, Musk said he had guaranteed buyers for the company at $ 420 per share, which was a substantial premium over the share price at the time. It was believed that he was exaggerating slightly about the mysterious buyer. Some claim that he completely invented the story of the fictitious buyer. The stock price is now trading at around $ 800 per share, so critics have given in somewhat.
Musk caught the eye when he drank whiskey and smoked pot on the popular Joe Rogan podcast, which has been watched and listened to by millions of people. His antics were questioned by experts in corporate ethics.
There is a contingency of short sellers on Twitter who argue that Musk is a modern P.T. Barnum who surfed on his business and his stock price. They argue that Tesla stocks are valued higher than many of the larger automakers combined and that the price probably cannot stay at that premium and will eventually crash. They claim that Tesla vehicle accidents, spontaneous fires and deaths are caused by software that has not yet been perfected.
Musk allegedly According to Sean Gouthro, former Nevada Gigafactory security official, the company hired investigators to hack into an employee's phone, spied on his messages, and misled police about a possible mass shooting . Musk said in an email that an employee had attempted to "sabotage detrimental to our operations" and accused "short sellers on Wall Street", "oil and gas companies" or "the multitude of competitors of big gas / diesel car companies' could have been behind the business.
While the manual calls for security and the company wants "to return home every day in the same condition as you arrived", allegations of security breaches have been made. Employees reportedly called 911 regularly, citing unsafe working conditions, such as "head injuries from unsecured building debris blowing from the roof during a wind storm and people falling through holes in floor".
Tesla and Musk are an anomaly in the business world. Many loyal customers and investors love the company and its flamboyant CEO, who is sometimes humble. They strongly support Tesla and support its continued success.
Their faith remains intact despite the many times when its founder goes beyond the limits. The manual should likely contain a passage that allows Musk to behave in questionable ways as long as he continues to grow the business, increasing Tesla's value to its shareholders and offering a great product to their customers.
Tesla human resources, corporate lawyers and the board of directors will continue to have headaches and endless work to keep in touch with their larger-than-life CEO.