Tesla Motors Reviews | Glassdoor

Tesla Motors Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
788 reviews

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3.5
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Tesla Motors Chairman, CEO, and Product Architect Elon Musk
Elon Musk
557 Ratings

788 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Tesla is literally changing the world (in 36 reviews)

  • Fast-Paced, dynamic work environment with employees that are incredibly enthusiastic about what they do (in 59 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is very challenging (in 117 reviews)

  • working for long hours even in the weekend (in 113 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Tesla"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Fremont, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There is so much room to grow with this company, and they cultivate talent. They are always open to suggestions on ways we can make things better.

    Cons

    If you don't mind the long hours to save this world and make a difference, then Tesla is the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Great job with always listening to the team, and trusting in our work.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tesla is awesome!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Team Leader in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Production Team Leader in Fremont, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I can honestly say I love going to work everyday! Being part of something as big as Tesla and to know you are personally changing the world is something all employees should be proud of.

    Cons

    None. This company takes care of its employees. Management listens. Thank you Elon!

    Advice to Management

    Don't be scared to ask your peers and associates for advice. We can all learn from each other even if we are on different pay grades.


  3. "Great place to work for thanks I don't have to say anything negative because it's the truth"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Devon, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Devon, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits and a work place .....

    Cons

    Tesla need to work on better idea make easier I got the brain contact me

    Advice to Management

    we need to make the job and the software better and easier to save money and time for the company.


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  5. "Scrappy and saving the world"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Equipment Maintenance Technician in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Equipment Maintenance Technician in Fremont, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great growth opportunity; growing entrepreneurial business with a secure future. Great potential for advancement. Decentralized systems allow for great flexibility in carrying out one's job. The CEO has a progressive and inspiring presence.

    Cons

    Lower than average sector pay. Small percentage of automotive sector means low flexibility for relocation. Long

    Advice to Management

    Offer training to maintenance personnel. Robotics classes should be subsidized by Tesla to increase job performance.


  6. "Great company, great benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not the best hourly rate I could be making, but the benefits are killer and the job comes with the satisfaction that you're helping change the world!

    Cons

    There is not a lot of room to grow locally, but time spent here is a valuable resumé-builder. I've learned a lot with that expectation adjustment.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technician in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Technician in Los Angeles, CA
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fast paced. Great opportunity to grow if you are keen to controlling your own growth.

    Cons

    Too many managers that do not know how to manage people. Management is quick to patch a problem instead of resolving the issue at hand.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on employee development and growth.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great opportunity but don't expect to move up easily"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Great company to work for
    -Awesome products
    -Lots of innovation
    -Collaborative and competitive environment

    Cons

    -Can be cut throat
    -Hard to advance (even internally)

    Advice to Management

    Invest in retaining and developing your employees


  9. "A unique company, but it’s hard to last more than a couple of years here."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - White Collar Worker In Service (Headquarters) in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - White Collar Worker In Service (Headquarters) in Fremont, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Completely casual dress code

    Flexibility to work from home when needed

    Always interesting to work at the factory

    If you look at the SEC filings, you can see that the top people are basically compensated the same as the other employees, which is a pleasant surprise.

    Many “beautiful people” here (male and female). Lots of eye candy.

    A lot of people complain about the pay, but they paid me more than my last company, where I had the same title

    LGBT friendly

    The product is cool, and really fun to drive

    If you’re in the right department, you might be able to drive a Tesla somewhat regularly. If not, there is an ongoing contest where you can be randomly selected to take one home for a couple of nights

    The company is still growing

    There is room to move geographically within Service, since Tesla owns the Service Centers

    Lots of “car guy” coworkers to keep conversations interesting

    Benefits actually got better and cheaper every year from 2012-2015, and stayed similar after that. I guess this was due to the company growing and getting better group rates. Regardless, not many people can say that.

    You’ll frequently come to work that day expecting to work on a certain project and end up on something totally different. This can be good and bad.

    Starting hours are typically flexible, which is a really nice perk. Nobody is making sure you’re in your seat at a certain time.

    Most employees are surprisingly responsive and friendly.

    Very heavy email-based communication, and it mostly works quite well.

    You get good at doing the best you can with the resources you have, rather than doing the best possible job. This isn’t necessarily a complaint, since it’s a valuable skill to have, but you should consider if you’re going to be okay in that kind of environment before applying.

    Cons

    Rare to be recognized, let alone thanked, for going above and beyond to accomplish something out of the ordinary. Once you've "done the impossible", it's just assumed that you can and will do it again and again from now on.

    Literally hundreds of people in one room, desks on top of each other, as many as possible in every little space. Companies claim that they’re being “modern” and “progressive” by not having offices and cubicles, but they’re just being cheap. Look at pictures of offices from the 1950’s. You’ll see the same hundreds of desks in a room.

    Yearly raises are typically less than the cost of living

    Work/life balance is mediocre at best

    Smallish yearly bonuses in the form of golden handcuffs. RSUs that vest over 4 years, so you’ll wait a long time to benefit from them

    Those who were hired before mid-2013 made a lot of money off stock options, but many of those people are leaving now that all of their options are used up.

    Revolving door. It’s hard to last more than a couple of years here.

    It’s always seemingly a few steps away from massive failure

    Very few processes in place, so work is done extremely inefficiently

    Very common to compose an email and see “This is no longer a valid Tesla address”

    The entire Service organization shares one budget. I am scrimping to save $50 on software while a barely-related manager wastes literally tens of thousands of dollars a week on cool toys, and it all comes from the same place.

    Everything’s urgent, and people try to name-drop that Elon’s watching this very project so I need to stop everything for them. Luckily those of us who have been around for a while see right through that charade.

    Technically, no 401(k) match, though if you’re careful with the health benefits you choose, you can end up with some leftover that can be diverted into the 401(k).

    Middle managers are very hit-and-miss. Many were promoted because a manager was needed and they were the only one who knew anything about the department. Much room for improvement here.

    Minimal leadership training. No real employee development opportunities. The results are just as bad as you’d expect.

    Massive inter-departmental struggles. Most of my problems can be traced to one power-hungry manager of a sister department. It only takes one person to ruin the work lives of many people.

    There are more meetings than I expected from this kind of company. Elon sent a great email about how wasteful meetings are, but people have fallen into old bad habits.

    Completely ineffective HR department

    Every department is grossly understaffed, just barely above the point of collapse. Nearly everyone has to work harder than they would if they were doing the same job at another company.

    Anything that they can do in house, they’ll do, rather than outsourcing to a supplier. There are people who spend their whole careers deciding “make vs. buy”… no need for them here, it seems. This is corporate arrogance, and it reduces quality, wastes human resources, and slows time to market in many cases. A positive side effect is that more products are made here in California than would be if they were outsourced.

    Inadequate parking

    Note to hiring managers at other companies: Watch out if someone from Tesla has “Project Manager” on their title. Many of these people are just general office workers with no skills beyond harassing people via email.

    Advice to Management

    I was debating whether I approve of the CEO or not.

    On the one hand, he occasionally sends these excellent emails about business philosophy and avoiding siloing, wasteful meetings, and that managers are there to support their employees, not the other way around. 10/10 on that! When he leads an all-hands meeting, he usually has interesting things to say, especially if you can get him free-form thinking out loud during a Q&A session.

    On the other hand, he is a relentless micro-manager and singlehandedly derails production, reduces product quality, makes hundreds of people have to work much harder, and causes massive waste because he wants to see every little detail and change those details at literally the last minute. It’s grossly inefficient and is ruining the company bit by bit.

    My advice to management: The company would work much better if Elon was only an idea man, locked up safely in a room somewhere, with his hands completely off of operations.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Bay area misfit."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Fremont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Free soda, popcorn was already becoming too expensive.

    Cons

    This place recycles managers like mcdonalds toilet paper, as a result every couple of months you end up working under another poor fellow that runs clueless around trying to “manage”. Quality of the managers here is really low since you have to be absolutely desperate to come working here since you know you are going to be out the door in a year. Engineering pay is lacking, company benefits are nonexistent. Living in the bay area is an absolute nightmare, with people sharing rooms and living on top of each other, Chinese speculators have flooded housing market, buying anything and then renting rooms via Airbnb. Every applicant they currently get is some inexperienced H1B visa desperado willing to do anything to get in the door. Hell on four wheels!


  11. Helpful (9)

    "Great individual contributors poorly managed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Tesla attracted some really great individual contributors to build Model S. They get five stars for building a stellar product, and +1 more for opportunity to innovate in the automotive space. (Yes, I know that's 6 but they lose 4 for crappy management).

    The biggest plus for Tesla is that the CEO is willing to make mistakes and take risks. Tesla is also willing to incorporate relatively new technologies into their products. It is a company challenging the automotive industry to "do better" by setting a high bar for quality and features. This is worth involving yourself in, IMHO. So there are some excellent opportunities there.

    Cons

    The company's management and HR policies are awful (-4 stars for this). They sometimes promote managers from within, but engineers frequently have exceedingly poor people skills, at least they did at Tesla. To make matters worse, the HR policy uses "stack ranking" and each group is forced to pick one individual as "worst". These people, no matter how skilled, are culled once or twice a year. So if you are great at what you do, working with 4 other great people, one of you is going to get let go, doesn't matter if all are great. This is incredibly stupid! It creates an atmosphere of suspicion and non-cooperation, and psychological fear. Very bad.

    The work place itself is low rent: IKEA tables and chairs. Big, open, very noisy space; poorly lit and visually distracting with people walking between long aisles of "desks". It is furnished like a start up, but is a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. Its bad enough that they tended to avoid showing the work area to potential hires.

    Tesla is a great place to "come from", but not a great place to be.

    Advice to Management

    Tesla should get rid of their "stack ranking" policy and whomever supports such abusive measures.

    Tesla should restore the breakfast cereal they took away from their R&D employees (this was a petty, vindictive move as there are no food services at or near the office, which is located away from any nearby eateries).

    Tesla should generally get a clue when it comes to dealing with creative engineering people. There is no way they can retain great talent with the environment they've created, and now that the company's stock is so pricey, they have no way to attract people purely based on stock options.

    For an otherwise brilliant CEO, Tesla's treatment of people is a clear blind spot (or intentional? you decide).


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