Leadership

The tactics self-made billionaire Elon Musk uses to motivate his teams

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
Rashid Abbasi | Reuters
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

Employers are working hard to keep you happy. More content employees are less likely to quit, which saves companies money and helps businesses hold on to top talent, according to a recent study.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk does his best to inspire his employees (and keep them from leaving) by motivating them to succeed and by helping them feel like they're part of a larger team.

His tactics make sense financially: Research compiled by company review website Glassdoor shows that businesses invest a lot of money when hiring new employees. On average, it takes HR recruiters 52 days to fill an open position, which is up from 48 days in 2011.

How does Musk do it at his companies? He pushes his senior executives to find ways to motivate and inspire their employees through selflessness. Musk suggests that leaders do this by "reducing the noise in their work."

The CEO says if leaders understand the fundamental principles of what they're trying to do they can avoid "building on faulty ground."

"We want our leaders to find ways of motivating and inspiring their teams, reduce the noise in their work and help remove blockers," says Musk to Glassdoor.

"If you are a manager or leading at any level at SpaceX, we stress that your team is not there to serve you. You are there to serve your team and help them do the best possible job for the company."

"This applies to me most of all," he tells Glassdoor.

"Leaders are also expected to work harder than those who report to them and always make sure that their needs are taken care of before yours, thus leading by example."

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

See also:

5 things everyone can learn from America's savvy and successful teen entrepreneurs

Do these 3 things immediately to have a more successful career

How to follow Warren Buffett's No. 1 rule for success