Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
87 Ratings

Pros
  • Great Product Great discount Great contests (in 87 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Do not work for this company if you value a work life balance (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management always want more but don't pay more (in 39 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

189 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (13)

    Former GM

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The discount was great, and customers were fun. Got a chance to meet a lot of passionate people.

    Cons

    The work load is outrageous. They also have no direction, its a company lost.

    Advice to Management

    More payroll, less visuals, you have lost your focus on customer service. That's what's killing the brick and morter stores.


  2. Profits Over People

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Consistently growing and profitable business. Strong executive leadership. Respected brands and rock solid products. US-based manufacturing, creating US jobs. Global expansion underway for retail and eCommerce operations. A leader in eCommerce retail. 401(k). Good employee discounts. Good work-life balance.

    Cons

    High level policy decisions promote profits for shareholders over happy employees. Old school vacation policy. San Francisco offices (high living costs or long commutes, your choice). Challenged to attract good talent away from more competitive high tech bay area companies due to limited pay, average benefits and high cost locations. Telecommuting is not permitted. Poor workplace strategy (noisy, unproductive, poorly designed open office concept in dated, poorly maintained facilities that need upgrades to support the high density worker population). Offshore staffing model for IT is not well supported by the organization leading to many failures, poor service, delays, etc... Technology systems may struggle to support global expansion: could lead to a proliferation of redundant systems. Retail culture (less professionalism than I've experienced in other science-oriented businesses). Many examples of poor middle management with high tolerance for poor performance/attendance. Many employees appear to not be pulling their weight (and not even working the prescribed hours) and there are little or no consequences.

    Advice to Management

    Put some focus on creating a productive and comfortable workplace and fostering a friendly, enjoyable and inviting culture to make employees happy. Happy employees are productive employees and productive employees produce higher profits, which makes shareholders happy. Make the tough decisions about workplace strategy, office locations and staffing models to resolve the present mismatch that makes it difficult to attract and retain the needed talent. Hold workers and managers accountable for poor performance: put some energy into standards, policies and procedures with measurements to achieve performance improvements.


  3. Helpful (9)

    Believe what you read

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discounts, sample sales, really great products, great resume builder to have WSI on your resume.

    Cons

    - When I first arrived I noticed that very few people made eye contact or smiled in the halls. It struck me right away as an unhappy place. I should have known then what a miserable place WSI is. The upper management is catty, rules with fear and is generally unwilling to take risks. It's all about placing blame and passing the buck. I met the CEO a few times and can genuinely say she is unlikeable person. No question this tone she sets trickles down to the employees. -For a company that prides itself on a great product and reputation there is very little talk about the customer. Everything is margin, margin, margin - customer experience just does not matter to them. -To say the technology is antiquated is an understatement. The backbone of the worldclass websites runs on DOS platform from the 80s. This has far reaching implications from the distribution center all the way to the consumer. There are so many necessary tech projects that need to be done to bring the company into the modern age, but they are unwilling to spend the money. -Bottom line: read through the review on Glassdoor. I did before I went to work there but I just did not want to believe them. Two and half stars is no accident.

    Advice to Management

    -Listen to your customers and employees and ask yourself if the next 50 years of a great company can thrive or build under current conditions?


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  5. Assistant Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Discount at multiple stores--Wiiliams Sonoma, pb teen, Pottery Barn, West Elm. Decent product, can be a fun environment sometimes.

    Cons

    Highly political, no transparency in hiring, no development

    Advice to Management

    Hire based on true qualifications and tenure. Stop hiring friends. Stick to the "People First" motto that is always touted but never demonstrated


  6. Helpful (7)

    Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great brands to stand behind. Great discount for associates. Have the pleasure of working with skilled co-workers.

    Cons

    Corporate Leadership is all lip service. Their decisions and actions make it feel they do what is best for themselves then what is best for company and associates. Not accountable for their own decisions.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Beware

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Technology Consultant in San Francisco, CA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of different technology to work on

    Cons

    Disjointed, poor senior leadership with no vision.

    Advice to Management

    Re-shuffle the management deck


  8. Helpful (2)

    Typical Call Center

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly staff, flexible hours, work from home option

    Cons

    Supervision and training are non-existent. Compensation is below standard. Contract (seasonal) employees must use any work station assigned, including sharing of headsets. I personally caught the flu working there, could not work for a week, and was released for attendance issues.

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate your supervisors. Most treat you like a sub-level human if you ask a question. The sink or swim attitude of all of the supervisors, at least at the Las Vegas call center, has got to go.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Don't come here

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer/Furniture Service Representative in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Customer/Furniture Service Representative in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great discount, that about it.

    Cons

    Lower than average pay for this job. Constant calls, be aware that you get no help from supervisors. Leads are good.

    Advice to Management

    Pay commission on orders. Senior Managment need a wake up call


  10. Helpful (1)

    Don't plan your career here

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Employee discount and benefits. Great compensation if you can keep your job.

    Cons

    The don't train you properly and then can you for doing things wrong. The company has no real ultimate goal or direction

    Advice to Management

    Get everything in writing and be careful that the person who is training you knows what they are doing


  11. Helpful (9)

    Associate Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Knoxville, TN

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great team to work with on store level.

    Cons

    Consistent lies and lack of support by upper management. Consistently cutting hours, expecting store management to work more.

    Advice to Management

    Clear, honest communication.



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