Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated June 16, 2015
183 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset

183 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Too many contract positions

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Products are great, some people are really nice, summer fridays

    Cons

    A LOT of the employees are contractors so there's not a lot of employee retention/loyalty, contractors are definitely treated lower than "real" employees though they do the same amount (if not more) work
    Office culture wasn't very motivating, a lot of office politics

    Advice to Management

    Be up front with your employees on the possibilities of temp-to-hire work.
    Stop playing favoritism and really look at people who actually work their butts off.


  2. Helpful (9)

    Little support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ACM
    Current Employee - ACM

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company offers great benefits from insurance to retirement plans. Cross brand discounts are great at 40% off retail. Rewarding associates trough contests and recognition of tenure is a nice touch.

    Cons

    Leadership can develop great initiatives but have no concept of the working conditions at the retail level. Expecting 2 people to run a store ( FOH, BOH ) is insane. I have had the pleasure of working at more than one brand of WSI and have experienced more disconnect with this brand. Disappointed in the leadership of this company but thankful for the experience and growth.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the back end of an initiative. How will it be accomplished while both challenging our teams but realistically able to be completed and supported?
    Stop creating new visual sets every 3 weeks, they can't be done at current payroll restrictions. Consider creating signage that doesn't change every new set but carries over. Stop wasting food on props and let's cross brand with props. Live branches cut and mailed to stores to use in vases, really!!!
    What a waste of money.


  3. Helpful (11)

    Unappreciated

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Great discount and sample sales are really fun. Great benefits. For the most part the employees are really smart and dedicated to their business which makes it a nice place to work. I worked at WS for 8 years and was highly satisfied until 2 years ago when management shifted.

    Cons

    Career pathing is non-existent so very little room for advancement. It's nearly impossible to move up unless you're in the "in" crowd or get lucky and a manager decides to leave. Managers are not trained and, in my experience, have no people management skills thereby over-working their direct reports with no regard for work/life balance. Having to work every weekend (mandatory!) through peak as a corporate employee speaks to mis-management and disregard for work/life balance.
    HR is under-utilized and under-staffed. They seem absorbed with hiring only and lose track after the initial hire. I returned from a 6-week LOA and had zero contact from HR. When I decided to leave the company (giving 6 weeks notice) I had to contact HR the day before my last day about scheduling my exit interview.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on training all managers. HR is uninvolved and should be engaging and meeting with all employees to have an idea of job satisfaction, etc...Providing breakfast and lunch is not a reward when asking employees to work extended hours.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (14)

    The first rule of any business is to treat employees as valued members of a team

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

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

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

    Pros

    The employee discount available at all brands (WS, Pottery Barn, PBKids, etc) is a huge incentive for the casual/seasonal employee.
    Very pleasant and agreeable fellow casual/seasonal employees, as well as assistant manager , make the annoyances of job enjoyable.
    Opportunity to learn new cooking skills and learn a wide range of product knowledge skills is excellent
    GM does a great job with requests for time off, if not asked for too frequently
    Most customers are pleasant and easy to work with

    Cons

    1) Expectations are at the absurd level. With two employees scheduled, one cannot set up a display, stock shelves, unpack shipment, conduct clienteling calls and/or email, and help customers all the while meeting ever increasing sph, upt, email capture, and credit card selling goals.
    2) Employee productivity based on inaccurate and incomplete spreadsheets cause low morale of hard working employees. Spread sheets that document sph, upt, credit card sales, and emails ignore the breadth of tasks the employee is assigned during a given work day.
    3) Low pay and rare training for the casual and seasonal worker, especially unseasoned hires, is not aligned with company's expected employee product knowledge and work performance. One cannot be an expert about a product after watching a training video, when adequate hours on the floor given to practice the skill are absent. Corporate expects those scheduled 0 - 10.5 hours a week to perform at high levels with little training and no follow up sales time to practice skills.
    4) The required policy that employees must be on-call two days a week forces non-managerial employees to hold off on any plans until an hour before work could possibly start. Continually putting low paid employees' lives on hold is not conducive to high morale and illustrates a disregard for them. Few people are willing to put their life on hold for the possibility they may get a chance to work for less than $10 an hour on a given day at WS.

    Advice to Management

    1) Align employee expectations with what you are willing to give to your GMs in payroll. If you only grant payroll for a manager and a casual employee to run the entire operation, set realistic expectations for what can actually be accomplished.
    2) Data and metrics need to reflect the actual work that is being tasked and completed. Current metrics are seriously flawed and don't reveal the scope of work being completed.
    3) Align pay with skill expectations, skills performed, and local business pay practices. WS cooking instructors are completing high level skills but being paid close to minimum wage. All employees are multi-tasking and performing numerous tasks besides customer service. All employees are expected to learn product knowledge on their own time at home. Sales personnel in neighboring stores who sell clothing only make more per hour. WS Pay per hour needs to reflect these realities. Because there are virtually no career opportunities, employees need to feel they are making an important contribution with their current status. You will continue to lose quality employees if you choose to maintain your current behavioral path.
    4) Revamp the work schedule plan and employee performance metric so all employees have a work/life balance and feel valued. Current practices degrade employees and don't promote an environment where we feel valued and appreciated.
    5) WS customers are attracted to the store because we carry high end merchandise. You have now established a model that treats them like a number, and you are forcing employees to comply with this non-customer service model. Customers might as well go online or to Costco with this new model. Turn back before it's too late.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Overworked, under payed and unreasonable expectations!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Miami, FL

    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

    Generous employee discount. Flexible scheduling to fit you personal needs. Good open door policy.

    Cons

    Work load is extreme through out year. Even worst around the holiday season. Always cutting hours. How can anyone live on 10 to 15 hours. Wages extremely low, not competitive for industry. Most be extremely knowledgeable of product, customers want to know how things work, taste and where they are made. No training program for product knowledge. Upper management always want more but don't pay more.

    Advice to Management

    Stop cutting hours. Be realistic with work load and give sufficient hours for task at hand. Stop categorizing people as casual and part time. Give people full time and enough hours to live a comfortable life.


  7. Program Manager

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Laid back culture and just infront of Fisherman Wharf

    Cons

    Senior Management Shys away from taking responsibility


  8. Helpful (15)

    When do I get to sell to my guests?

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

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

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

    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 Management

    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.


  9. Helpful (3)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

    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?


  10. Exhausting

    • 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

    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.


  11. Great discount, management varies from store to store

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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



Showing 183 of 789 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.