Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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  1. Helpful (5)

    Totally Disconnected

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Manager in South Portland, ME
    Former Employee - General Manager in South Portland, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great discounts and loved my staff!!

    Cons

    Unfortunately, upper management and corporate have expectations that are well beyond unattainable and unrealistic.

    Advice to Management

    Care enough to have an exit interview and listen to the feedback!


  2. Helpful (7)

    General manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Manager
    Former Employee - General Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Associate discount. Building relationships with your team & customers. Vendor interaction.

    Cons

    No payroll to achieve the high expectations given per corporate. Well unless your having a corporate visit & then it's use all that you can. You will pay for the overages in the months to come keeping you from making your monthly bonus. No work/life balance. They micro manage every part of your job. Always reactive to business & expect your whole team to report to work at a moments notice to make store changes. Upper management is rude & not supportive. Hr is a total joke & always fault the associate when upper management has done wrong. Pips are a dime a dozen to force your out. To many negatives!! Run from this company.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your teams running your stores.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Home Stylist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Home Stylist in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Home Stylist in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The employee discount is 40 percent.

    Cons

    I don't make enough money to take advantage of the employee discount!!!

    Advice to Management

    High turnover. Invest in your employees with fair compensation and benefits. We are the face of the company. Take notes from Howard Shultz- Starbucks CEO.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    Rampant with nepotism and leadership lacks imagination.

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A great collection of brands that sell themselves. 40% employee discounts were a great perk. A good place to learn about the retail landscape.

    Cons

    There are many old timers in leadership and senior positions and they hire their friends and former colleagues and also protect them and their incompetence. There is a complete lack of imagination when it comes to technology and all decisions come from the top. The processes that are in place just slows down everything and any form of constructive criticism is not acceptable. All the good talent either gets burned out and leaves or is literally forced out. Base salaries are sub par by the SF Bay Area standards and bonuses are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Please open your eyes and ears and wake up to where the world is headed around you. When you use fancy industry buzzwords, please have an understanding of what it means and how to implement them or if its even feasible to implement them.


  6. Helpful (9)

    Lots of cons

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly people, good salary, good office

    Cons

    Horrible work-life balance, terrible senior management, no support for thinking outside of the box, ridiculous systems and reporting tools

    Advice to Management

    Treat people with respect. Horror stories abound of how senior management talk to people behind doors, and I saw it first hand.


  7. Helpful (7)

    West Elm of Williams Sonoma

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Upon first impression this company seems inviting, progressive and ethical. This serves to draw in the most wonderful people I have worked alongside of. They will, each and every one of them, eventually suffer the cons.

    Cons

    Being lied to about promotions, raises, work status, and how many hours an employee has to file an injury claim, having hours cut to better serve shareholder profits, being classified as terminated after establishing leave of absence, an established culture of management and corporate representatives attacking subordinates character as well as "public shaming", rescheduling employees within hours posted without notice, chronic lateness by key holders upon opening leaving employees for sometimes hours on end to wait outside premise until their arrival with no ramifications to said key holders, exposure to dangerously unsafe conditions and substances treated as unimportant in lieu of "the bottom dollar" and a cyclical hiring trend evident of a painfully edifying turnover rate in which new employees are subjected to all of the above said (in their naive tolerance of such) with abandon until they secure employment elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    This company is destroying itself from the top down. If the shareholders and upper management are seeking this end in the name of instant gratification then so be it. Stop pandering to your subordinates that it is their lack of effort as to why there is no oxygen in space. Read the companies founders commandments and reconsider your slash and burn agenda.


  8. Sales Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Short Hills, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Short Hills, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice discount. Current management is pleasant.

    Cons

    There has been an incredible push by management lately to make goals: sales per hour, units per transaction, average order size (per sales transaction), email capture percentage, clientelling percentage, scheduling in-home visits, connecting with customers through the poorly-designed "clientelling" system, adding customers to the clientelling system, selling credit cards, and the list goes on. The pressure is on for associates at William-Sonoma. And with all the pressure we were rewarded with 10 cents an hour as a raise. This is especially upsetting when people who were hired in this year are making more what I am after 5 years of service and the people who are hired in last year are making more.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe poor sales is not the fault of your part-time employees who are working their hardest, check your business model.


  9. Helpful (6)

    IT - mixed bag

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    My experience reflects only corporate IT, and may not be indicative of all areas of the company: Great discount: if your salary is high enough. - The good people are great, are really pushing to make a differance and overcome challangesm but end up getting over worked & often burn out. - Profitable...

    Cons

    - Antiquated systems and processes. - Afraid of and avoid change or learning new things. - Too much middle management & either non technical or afriad of change. - culture of "not my team", few take ownership or responsibility. - siloed teams dont communicate and often either dont participate or dont ask for participation in projects. - lots of cliques, politics and dramatic churn which often results in sabotage & back stabing. - projects fail before they start. - Too many middle managers & not enough workers. - Contractors are treated as disposal; therefore, act as disposable. - little to no investment in people, no investment in training keeping skills current, salary and benefits very subpar. - its the only place Ive worked where co-workers have yelled at each other or made others cry. Worse, it happened multiple times. Very unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline procroceses & update systems. Spread the wealth by investing more in people. The discount is great, but what about health care, training, salary, hiring FTE instead of contractors. Clean out the layers of lazy, manipulative middle management.


  10. Helpful (6)

    retail sales/customer service

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    Easy commute and upbeat atmosphere. My colleagues, for the most part, are a good team, but given the directive of the managers, the morale is low with little to no team spirit.

    Cons

    The focus is on increasing in store sales over online sales in furniture, so now everyone is 'a design specialist' ....with little to NO formal training at all on the product we carry. Everyone has an hourly sales quota to fulfill which makes it a cut throat environment as everyone is part time, which makes it nearly impossible to make the expected numbers. Estimates are written up which are meant to credit the orignal sales person even if they are not working the day the actual sales goes through. That seldom happens, you just lose the sale. "E-mail capture and credit card openings' are a huge priority which makes everyone become as pushy a sales person as you can get. There are no incentives at all; no commission, no bonus' and one of the lowest hourly salaries in the country.

    Advice to Management

    The company has to invest in it's employees and their working surroundings. There needs to be regular product knowledge training and the computer system needs to brought up to par with other retailers - it is an embarassment..we know it and worst of all, the CUSTOMER knows it. The company looses credibility with the customer when the system is so very obviiously slow and they lose faith in us, their 'face of the company'. Retail sales haven't got a chance to improve over online sales if the system isn't improved. Managers must listen to and respect the team they have hired to work for them. Appreciate the previous experiences they have all brought to the company, as many of them are older employees who have had great work experiences previously. Celebrate that and compensate them for it, don't dumb them down.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Not Realistic

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbus, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with great people in the stores, generous employee discount, beautiful and functional product, lots of really nice customers who shop in the store.

    Cons

    Schedule, unrealistic expectations of all employees working in retail stores. Trying to focus on too many things making it very difficult to become experts in a few things that really matter.

    Advice to Management

    Spend 7-10 days attempting to successfully execute what you are asking of your employees -- both management level and sales associate level. You will get a much better idea of what is realistic. When top performers are unable to maintain the minimum there is a good chance you are expecting too much.



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