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2014 Game Changer: Nate Randall

Senior manager of global benefits and employee experience, Tesla Motors Inc., Palo Alto, California

August 3, 2014
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There probably aren’t many other companies that are as well-suited to have innovative human resources policies than Tesla Motors Inc.

“To sum it up, Tesla is all about no barriers. We try to remove barriers between our people, their families and the services we provide. We try to make things as simple as possible,” said Nate Randall, senior manager of global benefits and employee experience at the Palo Alto, California-based electric car manufacturer.Nate Randall

Randall, 38, was reserved when he spoke of his work at Tesla, providing no hint of stress as he explained his daily functions at the company, which has grown rapidly in recent years under the leadership of high-profile CEO Elon Musk. In March 2013, Tesla employed 3,000 people; that number is now 6,000. 

Such growth potentially could create a nightmare for a benefits manager. But Randall explained that the process has been easier than assumed thanks to Tesla’s HR structure, which was designed with rapid growth in mind.

“It’s all about building a structure that we can grow into,” Randall said. “Building a structure from the bottom up is much easier than having to change something that’s broken.”

An important aspect of Tesla’s culture is “the desire to do the right thing,” Randall explained. Creating benefits packages that give employees and their families a clear path to good health is one way Randall and the HR department follow through on that principle.

Tesla employees have access to free health care and prescriptions with no copayment, which conforms to the company’s progressive culture and maintains low health care costs.

“For years, the industry has been saying preventive care is the barrier to good health, so we just removed all the barriers,” Randall said. “We’ve seen that theory play out. Our costs are crazy-low compared to more traditional competitors.”

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