Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated November 1, 2014
Updated November 1, 2014
654 Reviews
2.8
654 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 85 reviews)

  • Best Reason to work here is the employee discount and the Sample Sales (in 55 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 30 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 38 reviews)

More Highlights

159 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Program Manager

    • 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 part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Laid back culture and just infront of Fisherman Wharf

    Cons

    Senior Management Shys away from taking responsibility

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    When do I get to sell to my guests?

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

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

    Pros

    I love my store, it feels like my second home. I get to play with quality product, cookware, electrics, etc. My customers respect my knowledge and all of my coworkers are intelligent, considerate. I feel valued by my manager and my DM. I get to cook and run Culinary, which is a thrill!

    Cons

    When do I get to sell to my guests? On 200 hours, it is one manager and one associate all throughout the day. I am running like a chicken trying to do floor set, webinars, conference calls, cleaning, clienteling (more on that in a sec) fielding literally dozens of corporate emails a day. My associate is trying to unpack Shipment, replenish and put out samples. All the while, petrified that a Secret Shopper is going to come in and spot us scurrying around! Easily 75% of my day is spent responding to or participating in corporate detail that leaves me feeling tied to a ball and chain. 200 hours for payroll is NOT ENOUGH to run the business! You are hearing this from many stores because it is true. We are struggling. Sales numbers will sink, that's a reality when we are tied up on all of these tasks with no team on the floor. It is very frustrating when we get a flood of emails (both on our outlook email PLUS StoreMail!) with immediate, large-scale changes to projects we were already struggling with. The computer system and POS systems are ancient and freeze/crash constantly. I have to call store support almost daily. So frustrating when our equipment cannot handle the workload. Please give us tools for success! Many of us are working on our own time, verboten, yet necessary to meet the demands, because we cherish our store and desperately want to succeed. Exempt managers are working 60+ hours a week and still feel behind the 8-ball. Are we on the Titanic? It feels like it. We can field calls, webinars, emails on levers, drivers, channels, and promos all day, but unless we have actual time to dedicate to SELLING, it's all just one big moot point. Doesn't anyone out there see the irony in this??

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enough with clienteling. The SWW system is ancient and freezes up. I am tied to my computer emailing and calling people who MIGHT come in to the store in the future, versus actively engaging with my guests that are actually in the store at that moment. I have gotten so many complaints because people say please, take me off your list! Very embarrassing, but we must meet our weekly quota. It comes across as desperate and the guests can smell that a mile away. They are already receiving multiple EDMs from corporate a day, and frankly do not want to be pestered by their local store associate...puts us in an awkward position of responding to them feeling imposed upon. Also, too many promotions! Last week, we had 32 active promotions. How are we, or our customers, supposed to remember all of these efficiently? It's lowering the value of the brand, when everything at some point or another is on promo. Customers are getting confused and think we are pulling a fast one when they come in to store from an EDM and the promo has already ended. The savvy customer is being trained to watch for sales and therefore limit their purchases to a future date at a lower price. Not good. Please reconsider demos and food...(and I LOVE Culinary) but it is a slap in the face to spend $200 a week on free samples when we don't have enough payroll for even one more 4-hour shift in the day. No matter how frugal we are, the food cost (and displays, with all real food and flowers that have to be changed out frequently) is astronomical. Put the money in your team instead for right now, till we get back on track. Scale back on the grass-fed beef expectations and be a bit realistic about this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worst corporate, district and regional management I have ever seen....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in South Portland, ME
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in South Portland, ME

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

    Pros

    The discount is great, especially because you can use it across all brands. I know I have stayed on simply for this reason alone and nothing else.

    Cons

    No work / life balance! Corporate started rolling out unrealistic expectations for the staff causing us to lose our management team and our tenured staff. Now we have a clueless, young GM who whines and complains about everything and sits in her office all day. Not an enjoyable work place environment for such little pay!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at your turnover rate of tenured staff, especially management! They are leaving for a reason and no exit interviews are ever conducted. Is that because you don't care?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Exhausting

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Outstanding coworkers. Knowledgable and interesting.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Thankless amount of work to be done. Bare-bones staffing. Turning in to a high pressure sales environment but with no extra training or staffing hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Great discount, management varies from store to store

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing discount, samples and usually a flexible schedule

    Cons

    Accountable for specific sales goals with no consideration on time scheduled (ie - being responsible for the same sales number when closing and having an hour of your shift closed as an associate who is working in the afternoon)

    Management varies from store to store, sometimes they don't even like to cook! Schedules can be very random and the use of on-call shifts is difficult to manage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop leaders! There is no career path outlined for the company, so you end up hiring from outside and end up with many inconsistencies.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I love my coworkers, but management it only focused on their bottom line and treat salespeople poorly.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great discount at WS, Potterybarn, West Elm

    Cons

    Management talks a great talk, but doesn't deliver regarding personal growth, pay and promotions
    Laura and the managment team is so focused on making the store look good, spending thousands of dollars on flowers and less concerned about the morale of associates

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more associates full time to keep morale up and prevent everyone from constantly looking for a better opportunity elsewhere. Support associates in their goals of advancing, when you see a good person not only keep them but also help them advance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Didn't like it. Poor pay, poor understanding of employees needs

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great discount, some nice fellow associates, nice location

    Cons

    trying to make a living on $9.00 an hour, your feet will kill you, you don't get many hours a week as a part time employee maybe 4-8, no one will switch shifts with you

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    figure out a away to post the schedule earlier for p/t ee's, try not to laugh at the newbies, try to make the compensation better, have time to listen to feed back, give exit interviews

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Overworked and Underpaid

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

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

    Pros

    The discount and the food samples.

    Cons

    The tedious deadlines, the wasted time in large meetings, last minute fire-drills, the 50 analysis projects only to have your manager tell you, you should have looked at this instead. The lack of communication and expectations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check in with employees, ask if they need guidance, what are they working on. Share your opinions and ask for theirs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Great people work here and make the job fun! The product is great and the discount helps!

    Cons

    This is a very complex job with high expectations. The stores struggle with payroll and it difficult to deliver all lever. You do have enough associates working to get the job done!! Upper management doesn't great it...clueless!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stretching people is ok but not to the point that there is nothing left! No work live balance will ever be achieved working here if things do not change! Live in reality! Give stores some payroll!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Company culture/attitude trickles down

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

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

    Pros

    Family of brands is well known and well regarded. They draw smart, talented people with solid backgrounds and experience. On the ecomm side, people work hard, but they seem to be having fun.

    Cons

    Execs have one foot firmly planted in the past. Teams are chronically under-resourced (not enough people to do the punishing volume of work). Salary-wise, they're notorious lowballers and the perks are minimal and pretty old school. First place I've worked where company mission (their "competencies") seems to be pure lip service. Culture is cold and elitist from the top down. Execs seem to not care at all how the sausage is made, what toll it takes to execute against their ever-changing directives. Not a collegial place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get with the times. Live to your competencies - for real. Crunch numbers to free up headcount. Commit to better work/life balance initiatives. Revolutionize the attitude there from the top down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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