The Musk Emails: Paint the Vision

This is a long one. The email is targeted at German factory workers, and in part references concerns about unionization.

The email goes through three themes

1.  Paint greater vision: The first part (as in other emails and most of his talks over the years) he starts with painting a picture of the greater purpose and goal of Tesla . They are not primarily to make profit, or only building electric cars, but help accelerate sustainable energy.

2.  Be upfront:  the email gets directly to the point on the issue of job security with Tesla acquiring the plant, and tells workers in no uncertain terms that at least five years of employment is protected. Wages are addressed, again with a focus on shares in Tesla being an important part of renumeration.

3.  Management style: Elon consistently paints a very particular way he wants managers to act. Their role is primarily to support the employees. Although most businesses say this, he is more upfront about it - explaining how management will not have special parking, eating, or office space. Just as he as CEO doesn't.

Prior to April 27 2017

Original Source:  Published April 27 2017 by 

To Tesla Grohmann Employees: Mail from Elon

I am very grateful that last Thursday I had the opportunity to talk to you and I wanted to give you some additional thoughts.

Tesla is unlike most other companies. Unlike other companies, the existence of Tesla is not only to make money. If it were only about this one goal, then I can tell you that the founding of a completely new car manufacturer would definitely not have been the smartest way. Our foundation and the foundation of everything we do is to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. The welfare of our planet is in great danger, and in order to solve this problem, we need a sustainable solar energy production, we need a sustainable way to store the energy in stationary batteries and we need a sustainable way to consume this energy with electric vehicles. It is critical of the future of humanity to solve this problem – we all want a better world for future generations. [Stanadard Musk opening - what is greater reason and purpose behind Tesla]

Tesla has made a number of important steps towards achieving this mission in the last 14 years of our existence, but none is more important and can make a bigger difference than Model 3. For the first time ever, there will be an electric vehicle that people can afford and which people love [Customer satisfaction is equally key to the greater mission. Who wouldn't want to work for a company that is (a) doing something greatm - see paragraph above - and (b) making people happy at the same time]. When Tesla was founded, no one thought that an electric vehicle could ever be more than a golf cart. Today, Model S is the best-selling vehicle in its class. Model X is fast to pick up and recently won a golden steering wheel. And Model 3 is on the brink of production start – just one year after the most successful product launch ever. After the Model 3, many other vehicle products will come, for which Tesla Grohmann will play a key role. To name just a few, which have already been publicly announced (there will be many more): We are developing Model Y (an affordable mid-range SUV), a heavy-duty semitrailer, a pickup and the next generation of the roadster sports car.

And these are only the cars. Tesla is about to launch a new solar roof into the market that will completely change the importance of the use of solar energy. Tesla will soon produce more batteries than the entire world has produced in 2013. These batteries will enable everything to be operated with sustainable energy, including the cars we manufacture. I was never more optimistic about the future of Tesla. Although it is not what drives us, Tesla has the real potential to be one of the most valuable companies in the world.

We bought Tesla Grohmann because we believe that Tesla Grohmann will play an important role in creating this future. It is not enough to produce cool products. To be successful, we need factories that are as good as the products themselves.

This brings us to the current topics at Tesla Grohmann:

First, the question of trust and the longing of every employee for job security. I understand that you are concerned about our decision to focus on Tesla projects instead of serving external customers. We have made this decision, because just so much work has to be done on critical Tesla projects. We really have so much to do that we will be able to hire even more extraordinary talents, and we plan not only an expansion of the team, but also our production facility in Prüm. For all these reasons, I would like to assure everyone at Tesla Grohmann that we will not be able to reduce our workforce in the foreseeable future, Even after these five years, we are expecting further growth at Tesla Grohmann and do not expect any personnel reductions. However, we wanted to give you absolute security for a definite period of time. This is a promise you can rely on and I will ensure that it is also formally implemented. [Seen in other emails, transparency is important]

Second, on remuneration. Last week, we announced that each employee at Tesla Grohmann Tesla will receive shares worth 10,000 euros (US $ 10,000), distributed quarterly over the next four years, and an immediate bonus of more than 1,000 euros in cash. This is just the beginning for each Teammitgled. We will also enter into discussions immediately with the works council to ensure that the remuneration of each individual employee is competitive and corresponds to the local cost of living. Of course, no one at Tesla Grohmann should earn less than he can expect on the local labor market; Just as no one would reasonably require the remuneration in Prüm to be as high as in cities like Stuttgart or Munich, where the cost of living is much higher. In any case, every Tesla Grohmann employee will have the chance to earn considerably more salaries and shares than is usual in the industry and relative to the cost of living in Prüm. Unlike other automotive manufacturers, each Tesla employee receives Tesla shares in addition to salary. These shares can be easily sold for money, but they also open up the possibility of earning much more through stock appreciation. The tenfold increase in our share price over the past five years has made our shareholding exceptionally profitable for our Tesla employees. I firmly believe that we have the potential for a further ten-fold increase over the next five to ten years. That would make a total value of € 100,000 from the share of the share of € 10,000. Although we would not recommend it to anyone, because it is very likely less worthwhile, all those who would rather have a simple cash bonus, instead of the shares, would demand 2,500 euros in cash every year. Tesla firmly believes that extraordinary performance must be rewarded with additional cash and share bonuses. So this is only the beginning.

Thirdly, it is clear that you would like to see more changes at the workplace. At Tesla, we are proud to offer a pleasant, fair, and exciting work environment. It is very important for me that you like to work every morning. We have drawn up a long list of change measures to bring Tesla Grohmann to the conditions at other Tesla locations, as well as changes that are specific to Tesla Grohmann and which we are now trying to implement. This list will be visible in all buildings visible to all. We will update the list on a regular basis so that everyone can see what changes have already been made, which are currently being implemented and which will be implemented soon. [This is good practice in almost every work envinroment] You should see every week that improvements happen.

Finally, I know that IG Metall wants to bring the workforce of Tesla Grohmann on the union line. I would like to share my thoughts with you. It is my firm belief that the separation of the workplace into “executives” and “employees” does not create a good working environment. We want to create a system of equality without artificial barriers so that someone can start as a trainee and one day lead the entire company. This is why we eliminate all the special privileges of the executives. For example, everyone will have equal access to parking, eating the same tables, and there will be no management offices. [Musk has a very specific vision on how he wants managers to work and interact as described in this email, and the other emails.] I am convinced that managers should work at the forefront, in the same work environment as the entire team. Even though I run the company myself, I still do not have my own office and often moved my workplace to the most challenging area in the factory and slept on the factory floor when there was a real crisis. [Drops in a personal example] Managers should always take care of their team before they take care of themselves – the supervisor is there to serve his team – not the other way round.

As I said at the beginning, everything at Tesla serves our mission and I do not believe that IG Metall is sharing our mission. They have publicly announced in the press that electric cars do not take care of them. In addition, they have a real conflict of interest because their top priority will always be the members of the hugely established automotive manufacturers: their potential of membership is much greater than at Tesla Grohmann.

I would like to thank you for all the contributions you have made to Grohmann over the years. I look forward to what we can create as a tightly integrated team together.


Read more Elon Musk emails

Checkout The Musk Emails: The Definitive Collection


The Musk Emails: Lead from the Front

The Musk Emails: Facts Over Propaganda