Williams-Sonoma

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

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated November 14, 2014
Updated November 14, 2014
655 Reviews
2.8
655 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
283 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

101 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing

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

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

    Pros

    Free coffee, lots of parking, beautiful location, the paychecks clear every two weeks, free tea, the temperature in the building is always set to a decent level, there is always someone cleaning.

    Cons

    No room for advancement unless you are hand selected, too many cliques, no recognition, low pay, antiquated practices and policies, inept training department, favoritism, indirect discrimination, no intra-department communication, disinterested management, no clear leader, disorganized, and zero respect for those who truly care about the customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start a leadership program for your existing "leaders". Recognize those who work hard.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    they don't pay contractors for all their hours

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

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

    Pros

    there is nothing positive about working at this place aside you will get nice experience and you can have as much as responsibility as you please

    Cons

    no opportunities to move around within the company, you will be in the same position for infinity and beyond, director level and above are the only ones who recieve bonues, they don't pay contractors for all hours works and they made me cry on purpose several times, oh and my manager loved yelling at me across the office - this place is kind of nuts, a silent war, unless being screamed at

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    go to hell

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    A micro-managing nightmare!

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

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

    Pros

    Discount is great! I really enjoyed working and merchandising in a beautiful store. I had some wonderful co-workers- a true family- and team of people that really care about one another and their customers. Store was positioned in a great shopping center with great store hours.

    Cons

    I cannot speak for the company, but my region/location was a micro-management NIGHTMARE. Entirely too many conference calls, voice recordings, sending pictures everyday, submitting weekly/daily/hour recaps to DM etc. This "noise" took SO much of my time as a manager away from the sales floor- and away from what really matters the most- my customers and associates. Goals are absolutely unattainable- especially for the location I worked in saw only about 15 customers a day. WS needs to do a better job of creating marketing elements to drive customers in OTHER than sending too many emails /coupons customers. Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate all the unnecessary tasks being assigned from the DM and utilize that time to EMPOWER your teams to create different ways of bringing traffic into the store, and growing the business. Build a payroll model that is based upon workload. When shipment is doubled or tripled, payroll should match the workload to process it. Do a better job communicating vision/ goals for the company and ALWAYS remember your people FIRST.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Demoralizing corporate culture

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

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

    Pros

    Great team and lower-level managers. Great discounts IF you can get hired on full time!

    Cons

    WS has an unofficial polilcy of hiring people on as "temps" - either through an agency or as a contractor - in otherwise full-time positions and keeping them as such indefinitely. Being hired on full time is apparently based on earnings and the whim of upper level management who need to approve all hires (this is at least the case with the Pottery Barn brand). It's demoralizing and polarizing to see this happening to hard working people who've been temps for well over a year (and in one case, two!!). Dangling the carrot is cheap.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are out of touch with reality. WS is NOT apple or google, and it may look good on a resume, but not THAT good. If you view your workforce as disposable, then you will lose good people and there are many excellent, creative companies to lose workers to in San Francisco.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    If you don't invest in yourself nobody else will here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    If you excel at brown nosing, being a yes man/woman, or throwing people under the bus the sky's the limit for you.

    Cons

    Never get your hopes up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what other people have to say and not just the sound of your own voice. Invest in people instead of making them feel interchangeable and disposable. Invest back into the company advancements me to be made to further company goals technology is your friend!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Reconstruct William Sonoma/Pottery Barn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Discount off of still very expensive product

    Cons

    Mostly Everything. Hypocrisy. Bureaucracy. No Upward movement. No appreciation. No meaningful compensation for the work executed. Greedy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Horribly Disorganized

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Quality merchandise and a brand recognized as an industry leader.

    Cons

    Extreme disorganization, lack of clear communication, outdated technology, lack of focus and direction, and consequently very poor morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Williams-Sonoma should have been my perfect home. I am a passionate cook and baker, a retail management professional, and a loyal customer of the brand and the products. I left a management role at Sur La Table to move to Williams-Sonoma just as the company was launching one of my favorite initiatives, Agrarian. As a home gardener, canner, etc. I was excited to take over the store's culinary program. Little did I know what I nightmare this job would become.

    I was surrounded by a well-meaning, positive, and extremely tenured staff at my location (several sales associates had been with the company for nearly twenty years) who, due to erratic schedules, payroll restraints, and lack of organization had very little product knowledge to share with customers. This was just the first clue as to why the company was struggling to meet sales goals.

    Coming from one of WS's major competitors, where we had had an unrealistic envy of Williams-Sonoma's brand and organizational might, I was shocked to discover how poorly this company was run from the top all the way down. The lack of communication and direction from leadership translated into daily nightmares with supply chain, visual merchandising, workplace safety (imagine squeezing your body completely flat against the entire length of the stockroom hallway to pass through corridors jammed with boxes to the ceiling in order to get to the restroom. During holiday, excess product had to be stored in outside storage closets unsecured by alarms or cameras), and everyday policies and procedures. The technology, systems, and tools in place at the store level were so varied, antiquated, and esoteric that accurate inventory control was nearly impossible. Add to this poor morale generated from overworked management and you have chaos on your hands.

    As many other reviewers have stated, there is an overwhelming need for undercover visits from upper management. All contact with upper management that occurred while I was with Williams-Sonoma was previously announced and frenetically prepared for by managers working around the clock and payroll blown to smithereens in order to produce a catalogue-esque front in time for store visits.

    During my time with the company I had the great fortune of meeting and working with some fantastic and dedicated people, and I am grateful for that. My sincerest wish is that the folks who are out there busting their butts every day do start to get some recognition and will be listened to when they have feedback that might help the company to stay competitive. If anybody knows what the customer and the business wants and needs, it's the folks on the front lines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Need to get back to basics

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great discount, great friends, fun customers, flexible hours (as in very few hours given to work) good discount for shopping for gifts for family and friends

    Cons

    low pay, poor training, few hours, poor corporate support

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out from behind that desk and computer and experience day to day in the store - - poor working conditions, to much expected on a daily basis, have gotten away from customer service, have forgotten the basics the company was founded on - great product and customer service - now its just the bottom line - profit profit profit!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    It was a slow-going nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in The Colony, TX
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in The Colony, TX

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

    Pros

    Nice catalogs and product representation. You get to talk to loyal customers who have been spoiled by lax return policies.

    Cons

    Complaints about West Elm branch company's furniture and Pottery Barn horrendous quality and issues (backpacks), as well as, the unexplainable inventory supply and delivery setbacks with the vendors make for nightmare customer relations. One supervisor who seems to care does not make up for all others who will do anything just to make the customer shut up and don't back up the agents - at all. There was obvious favoritism and patronizing among the management to the detriment of seasonal employees with experience and ideas who are never nurtured or given positive feedback. Managers are taught how to CYA (cover their asses) in HR with any employee who is disgruntled due to their lack of management ability. They issue write-ups when they sense there may be a complaint by an FSA coming their way. There are all sorts of violations for uses of discriminatory language in their trainings - that went unaddressed - and misinformation in training to agents that is not consistent with practical application when actually on duty. It was appalling how insensitive management is to seasonal employees needs. I have never seen so many employees this dissatisfied so soon after training as in this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get management and cultural diversity training so you won't get sued someday and affect everyone at WS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Upper management is terrible

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Great discount, the associates are generally great to work with. In store management was great too.

    Cons

    Total lack of planning, structure and implementation by senior management. EVERYTHING appears to catch senior management by surprise. Never before have I seen such a reactionary group of District Managers, Vice Presidents, Regional Managers and so on. Lack of communication, poor planning and absolutely terrible execution. Shipments are a daily disaster. Senior management throws in store management and associates under the bus regularly. I've personally witnessed management lying to cover their behinds.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management is get in the stores and understand what is happening to your in store management and staff. Being constantly berated, overworked and under supported is how EVERYONE in our region feels right now. Wonder why there are so many vacancies???

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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