Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated July 23, 2015
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129 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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

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

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

    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.


  2. Helpful (8)

    General Manager

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

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

    Pros

    The discount is generous, health benefits are good, vacation and holiday time off was rarely approved....when it was you were expected to always be "on call" even when out of the country with your family for "emergencies" (corporate called your store and you were so busy that you didn't answer until the 4th ring kind of emergencies. Yes...this means ignore the guests you were with to run and answer to phone to give sales results during peak season.) Money is all that matters to the new CEO.

    Cons

    Too many to list....hours, pay, lack of consequences for those who did not do their job however upper management and corporate HR was afraid they would react poorly to feedback. On the flip side, those who did do their job they were fine with coaching and providing average or poor reviews to in order to keep review increases to 1-3% yearly.

    Advice to Management

    Make the guest experience the main focus....way too many things to focus on that the guest doesn't see and ultimately doesn't really matter (only 1-2 conference calls per week!!!) At the end of the day, the guest should be all that maters. React when there are things broken at the store and have them properly repaired, TRAINING time is imperative!!! Payroll is a joke for the profits that the stores make. Too many levels of management and messages are lost on the way down or misinterpreted. Howard's Rules are not followed but upper management....very few are humble at all! The changes from Howard to Laura made the company virtually unrecognizable. Such a disappointment as I loved this company and felt as though they were family after my many years.


  3. Helpful (3)

    More and more like Wall Street every year.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Nice location. Good discount benefits. Decent benefits (health, etc.)

    Cons

    Poor pay. Greedy top management. Takes total advantage of underpaid employees. The typical, very modestly/poorly paid employees taking on more work because they do not back fill vacated positions; but no additional compensation for those left doing all the extra work. (I am talking about in the Corporate offices.). Career advancement only if you are a selfless, young, attractive, blonde woman who doesn't mind working 12 hours a day. No recognition for extra work, special projects, etc. (it really helps to look like Laura Alber!)

    Advice to Management

    Spread the wealth. You keep professing the need for "cost cutting" on the backs of employees that already can barely afford to live in the Bay Area; yet upper management and Laura Alber rake in millions in bonuses per year.


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  5. You are just a number

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Employee discounts on all brands - 40% employee discounts on most retail priced items (exluding electrics and furniture) and 20% off on sale items

    Cons

    No visibility between departments, difficult to locate lead and management feedback when needed, you are on your own type of environment, terrible employee retention, Company culture on the floor is extremely lacking - you are just a random face and number. The level of respect among peers is nonexistent - many Cliques - not much unity. Lots of unprofessional ethics in the workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Make an overhaul on the company culture and employees will be happy to come to work


  6. Helpful (1)

    Kicked to the curb

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

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

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

    Pros

    Free stuff and they hire loads of people for the holidays.

    Cons

    Did well in Customer service training but got Vertigo and after three trips, and days off, on an emergency basis to three different hospitals I was fired. I had shown them evidence from each hospital but that mattered nothing to WS.

    Advice to Management

    Why spend the money to train a good employee then summarily fire them for no legitimate reason. I now owe $30000 to TWELVE different medical centers and have NO JOB! WS is heartless.......


  7. Helpful (25)

    Unrealistic expectations and inadequate resources

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

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

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

    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 Management

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


  8. Helpful (1)

    A lot of inconsistencies, poor leadership,

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fsa in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Fsa in Las Vegas, NV

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Discount, well-maintained lunch room, good lunch program, nice products

    Cons

    Too many to list but for starters order process is flawed, the supervisors and/or managers are only there to put out fires for their subordinates and the customers. I say fix the problems with work-flow process and you won't need that many supervisors and hopefully have a lower turnover rate in employees. Good luck!

    Advice to Management

    Carefully consider choosing systems that work.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Awful place unless you were on the favorite list

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

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

    Pros

    Customers were generally very kind and understanding. Decent employee discount, though I never used it.

    Cons

    Management played favorites big time, and if they didn't like you, for any reason, they made it painfully obvious. Don't bother going to HR to report inappropriate behavior from a coworker because they'll just attack you about things you've supposedly done wrong and refuse to provide proof, and you'll never actually be able to file a report. If you exceed expectations in any way your supervisor will accuse you of somehow cheating. If you weren't a favorite then requesting any kind of time off or schedule change was impossible. Insufficient training to both employees and management, and if you ever need help you get belittled. Your supervisor will tell you you're doing your job wrong and when you ask how to do it correctly the response is "well, I don't know how to do it, ask your teammates". Extremely difficult to get a Floor Lead/Sup on the phone for help, and when you do they're response is usually "well what do you want me to do about it?" If you get on anybody's bad side they will bully you until you leave. Leads will sit at their desks and gossip LOUDLY about people getting in trouble/fired. Customers are given sub-par assistance, and the employees are treated worse than the customers which is really saying something. Overall, everyone is incredibly immature and disrespectful, and they spend more time eating than doing their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Attendance policy needs a major overhaul. More sufficient training needs to be provided. Workplace needs to be more professional.


  10. Helpful (11)

    Don't do it!

    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Chandler, AZ

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

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

    Pros

    Great discount, and great co-workers

    Cons

    Made the Presidents Club 2 years in a row (sales over $300,000) as a Design Studio Specialist. No comimission and paid a paltry hourly wage. Wanted full-time, but the only full time are managers.

    Advice to Management

    All DSS should be full time. Enough of clienteling, email captures, credit card sign ups. Staff the damn stores.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Horrible Hypocritical He**hole

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

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

    Pros

    Absolutely nothing known to humankind

    Cons

    Lies, Disrespect, Abuse, Manipulation, Condescension

    Advice to Management

    Get a soul!



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