Williams-Sonoma

www.williams-sonomainc.com
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Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated March 1, 2015
Updated March 1, 2015
380 Reviews
3.1
380 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
380 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 87 reviews)

  • Work life balance - is great as long as you get what you need done (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 39 reviews)

More Highlights

380 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    It's a great company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Merchandise Processor in Brisbane, CA
    Current Employee - Warehouse Merchandise Processor in Brisbane, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Great people and nice perks.

    Cons

    The point system is a big mistake

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the point system

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company and stores but corporate has too many unrealistic goals.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Manager is amazing, pay and insurance is really good. Management team works hard but few part timers work as hard as they should.

    Cons

    You are expected to meet goals that are not realistic due to payroll cuts and other tasks that take too long to accomplish with too few people to help customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We either need more payroll to have more associates on the floor or less required tasks and in depth floor set changes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    West Elm Sale Associate

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    A highly inspired position. I was surrounded by other creatives like myself with sales backgrounds as well as creative eyes. Had the opportunity to work and meet with a wide range of personalities.

    Cons

    Hours are inconsistent. One week you have 35 the next you have 4, and the pay is less than desirable. Because of this fact, employee turnover is like nothing I have ever experienced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate the valuable employees you do have, give them the priority and a bit of incentive to stay put, i.e. consistent hours and better pay.

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Long hours, low pay, dangerous environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Manager
    Current Employee - Associate Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The people I work with are generally great. Most everyone is professional, helpful, and fun to be around. The employee discount is probably the best part.

    Cons

    Terribly unorganized. The stockroom is dangerous (Kitchen Aid mixers falling of shelves, aisles too narrow for ladders, so employees have to scale shelves to get items customers need).
    Hours are insanely long, and shifts are brutal - for example working until 11:30 at night, only to have to return at 7 AM the next morning during the holidays, for days on end.
    Managers do not have a work life balance. They work ALL the time to keep the store running.
    Pay is low, with little to no chance of an increase.
    Upper level manager (not managers in the store, but one who visits occasionally) is disrespectful and condescending, with behaviors that border on discriminatory and illegal, using bullying and abusive speech to get their way.
    Corporate office sets unrealistic expectations for store managers, with little scaffolding to help them achieve their goals.
    Seem to be able to get little done, due to corporate red tape.
    No organization whatsoever - everything is a giant mess. It's hard to find things, and get things done. The lack of efficiency really makes me wonder how much longer this company will be able to survive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay employees more, be more organized, make sure this is a safe place to work. Be respectful to employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Moving in the wrong direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Great co-workers and great discount.

    Cons

    Corporate is completely out of touch with their store level employees. Their expectations are never attainable and they berate you constantly for not achieving the impossible. They offer no solutions or training and they certainly do not invest in their people. An example of their expectations is as follows: They allocate 2 hours of labor to paint a wall. The reality is it took 2 people a total of 6 hours to paint. You then get ridiculed for wasting labor. Then you start to question why you are inadequate, until you call another store or two to find out that they took the same amount of time. The question really is why do they expect us to paint, drill and hang things on a frequent basis? Shouldn't there be contractors for such daunting tasks? Alas, it is not in the budget. The least they could do for their seriously underpaid associates is allow enough time to get the project done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please evaluate your expectations and ask yourself if it is realistic to attain before you demand it of all your stores. If you think it's truly realistic and your stores are struggling, please offer training and positive reinforcement. You have no idea how negatively you impact the moral. Your turnover rate is the worst I've seen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Manager
    Current Employee - Associate Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I work for are exceptional

    Cons

    Some days are long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Non

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good Place, Good People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of good people with lots of knowledge. Shuttle to and from BART provided. Ability to see a lot of different technologies all within one building. Unique benefits of being in corporate IT while surrounded by the entrepreneurial learning opportunities of the bay.

    Cons

    Benefits are not the best out there. Would really help if more was offered inline with the market here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider additional benefits for employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Class is the look... Not the. "Feel"

    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    If you love cooking.. 40% discount

    Cons

    That great 40% discount is not passed on to us on promotions, and we are there working very hard... Huge hourly sales goals ... Minimal hourly rate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are possibilities

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    The best people in retail for Williams Sonoma.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - General Manager in Richmond, VA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    People who care about eachother for all the right reasons. Always having a culture of exceptence and excellence.

    Cons

    Trying to make every guest know how important they are, never enough time in my day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work smarter not harder.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 11 people found this helpful  

    Unrealistic expectations and inadequate resources

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager
    Current Employee - General Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Discount is 40% off all full price merchandise excluding electrics. An additional discount is offered during the holiday season for cutlery, electrics and cookware.

    Cons

    Retail is an extremely challenging line of work. Managing a store could be argued to be far more demanding then overseeing a district, region or corporate function. The leaders at this company are disconnected, they don't know what it means to work in a store. The bar is constantly raised when the bare minimum is not even achievable in the majority of stores. There is no payroll. Most stores get 220 hours each week. That includes all of management with the average store having at least 2-3 full time managers and at least 2 part time managers. In all stores at least 2 managers are exempt. Responsibilities of the store include painting, patching, unloading the UPS truck at least 3x each week with an average of 100 cartons. During the holidays the average store receives 300 boxes 4+ times each week. The store offers complimentary knife sharpening, online returns, and send sales for customers. The only people allowed to complete RTV's and many other shipping/receiving responsibilities are the exempt managers, and with a manager needing to oversee the floor at all times, do the math. Exempt managers work a minimum of 6 days a week, 10+ hours each day. If they don't, the store will fail. The backrooms are treacherous, kitchens filthy and no budget to do anything about it.. When I joined the brand I had high hopes of a long and successful career. I had previously managed a district and joined as a GM to start something new and different and I was excited. I can honestly say, unfortunately, that my sentiments are shared by 90% of the managers (particularly exempt) that I have interacted with. The DM's are also super over-jobbed and under trained. This is a highly stressful environment with little incentive to join. The pay is not competitive. If I had known a year ago how awful WS is to work for I would have run from the recruiter. I truly hope this review helps guide others in making a more appropriate career choice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have to spend money to make money, and on the right things. Invest in talent and training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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