Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated August 29, 2015
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
72 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

209 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work if you have a family. Not a place where you want to retire.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you have a family, Williams-Sonoma is a great place to work! If your children are sick, the company understands if you have to take the day off. Sick time is not monitored like other employers where they check to make sure you are genuinely ill or have a doctor’s appointment and you also don't have to feel guilty about taking a vacation. This is primarily because a large majority of the work force is composed of females in their late 20s to late 30s. Cohesion among employees is also a good aspect of Williams-Sonoma. You can expect your employees to work as hard as you do (and you will work hard) while being reliable and supportive in any projects where you may need assistance.

    Cons

    In most departments, workload is heavy. It is common for most employees to login remotely from home and check their e-mail to get started on the next day's work. Many of the employees also work over the weekend (from home). Expect a 50-60 hour work week (even if you are a non-exempt employee)

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management is not always fully connected to their team. Typically, they make decisions with little input from lower-tier employees. This is an opportunity that I do not see changing anytime soon.


  2. Overall, a good place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discount, great office location.

    Cons

    There are no negatives at this time.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure.


  3. Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Store Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Product and people it's people

    Cons

    high expectatons and the heavy workload

    Advice to Management

    too much work for the payroll


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  5. Williams-Sonoma... still cooking after all these years.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - General Manager in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Even though it has grown to be a billion dollar corporation the "Mom and Pop" mentality has remained. Family can actually come first and the employees are truly appreciated. In my 20+ years of retail it has been by far the best company to work for.

    Cons

    It is not a fast growing company and the people working here love it. The sum equalling little upward movement from within and frustratingly outside hires sometimes grab the best open management spots. Far be it for me to complain...I was one of those hires.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to your people.


  6. Helpful (1)

    A stable place to work in an unstable economy.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Print Production Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Print Production Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best benefits of working for the Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn & West Elm combination, are the sample sales! The employee discount is not to be ignored either at 40%. The other benefits are pretty average and nothing to write home about. The management are pretty understanding with leaves of absence. This company understands the fact that family takes priority. WSI is also a very stable and secure company to work for during a recession. Although sales have declined since previous years we are still pulling a profit. And since it is such a huge company there are always chances for advancement.

    Cons

    Williams Sonoma is such a huge company that you definitely can get lost in the crowd. If you don't like like being a small fish in a big pond then don't even bother applying here. The raises are pretty slight, so I would definitely recommend negotiating as you come in. Once you're hired the chance for a substantial raise is 0%. The upper management can be completely ruthless in their business practices. Be forwarned! On a side note, you can't wear jeans.... ever... not even on Fridays! Need supplies? A pen? A notepad? Don't even think about it. Buy your own post-its and keep them under lock and key.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the team under you and try to connect with them on a personal level. Remember we are people not robots.


  7. Great work / life balance!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great discounts on furnitures! Definitely a great place to work if you are a fan of the Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn products! Great work / life balance. It's a low stress and collaborative environment.

    Cons

    It's probably not the place to start your career but it would be a good place for a person who has family. Things move pretty slowly here.

    Advice to Management

    None


  8. great place to work, but could use some improvement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great discount, fellow employees are helpful to each other, for the most part, fun place to work

    Cons

    I wish there were more opportunities for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Recognize employees, make sure everyone is familiar with how to do special orders, ect. More communication between all managers.


  9. Overall a solid and caring company to work for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - General Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

    Pros

    People First company. Balance of work and family are very important to the quality of life for all associates. They offer you the chance to 'make it' or 'break it' and you are the conductor of the train. Advancement opportunities are there as long as you are able to relocate to other parts of the country.

    Cons

    Pay scale could be improved compared to other retailers in the same type of business. The amount of time and dedication that go into the job, don't always add-up to the overall compensation package. The demands of the position continue to 'pile on' and you are expected to work harder and give longer hours.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great stable job in a close-knit company!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Creative Services in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great team environment! The discount is priceless too! They take care in keeping employees...never seem to lay off even in hard times.

    Cons

    Not enough opportunity for advancement within company. Its great that people stick around for a long time but management should always be looking out for what their employees desire when it comes to their growth. Not everyone wants to work in the department they were hired into for the rest of their career, keep an eye out for talents and goals and help them reach them!

    Advice to Management

    Recognize employees talents in all areas and help them grow into other positions throughout the company. Recognize that the times are not as conservative as they once were and this company should change with the times. Bring back casual Fridays!


  11. Good people, good products, fun job.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is a great company to work for if you love food and cooking- you will learn A LOT about the products they sell, and possibly even get free samples from vendors. The company does try to give a good work/life balance, which sometimes works out and sometimes does not. I do believe that the General Managers strive to keep Williams-Sonoma a "People First" company. I work with some people who have been with the company for 10+ years and it's nice to see that they still have great passion for what they do. Also, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the great discount. It can be a challenging job, but the people and the environment more than make up for it. Also, the job itself is super fun- it's something new every day.

    Cons

    Sometimes it seems like the folks at corporate are not communicating with each other before sending urgent communications to the field. So many times we've received instructions to take action on something immediately only to receive an additional communication hours later saying to disregard the previous communication. Also, I appreciate the desire to keep things fresh and new looking, but sometimes there are some unrealistic expectations in regard to changing out displays in the store. For example, some projects that were originally slated to take six days will sometimes need to be pushed to be completed in 2-3 days, without adding payroll hours.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that when you get ideas to suddenly change things around, or implement a new procedure, there are actually people who have to do these things in their stores- in addition to helping customers. So please, when you say that you are giving the stores no tasks, stick to that promise.



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