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Williams-Sonoma Reviews

738 Reviews
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
319 Ratings
  • Sr-level Corporate Employee

    • 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 full-time (more than a year)

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook


    - Employees share the same passion and vision that inspired Chuck Williams to start the company almost 50 years ago.
    - Company is based in San Francisco and has a wonderful story, and a culture that's still rooted in that story. Chuck still pops in now and then and says hello.
    - Four corporate offices located in San Francisco, most of which have beautiful views, art, character, and a good vibe.
    - A "come-as-you-are" work culture. Employees are free to be their whole, unique selves at work and are encouraged to bring their thoughts and ideas to the table.
    - Lean, scrappy teams mean if you have an idea to make things better, go for it.
    - A very high bar for talent. Even when teams are very lean and putting in long hours, people are willing to wait to find the right fit for the team.
    - Intelligent, dedicated, talented, friendly employees that are fun to work with.
    - Employee recognition programs.
    - Generous discount on the entire family of brands. And quarterly sample sales.
    - Internal promotions are common.
    - A lot of tenure at the Director and Executive level.
    - Fantastic products = pride in the company.
    - Financially successful.
    - Executives make it clear that the stores and customers are the heartbeat of the company.
    - Innovation in marketing and design.
    - Management (in my experience) is available, but hands-off. Meaning, you are free to do the job you were hired to do. This always depends on the manager, of course.


    - Outdated internal systems and tools. Most processes are very manual.
    - Lack of transparency in how decisions are made, and WHY decisions are made.
    - It seems that some executive leads take action or move forward with directives based out of fear, rather than pushing back, asking why, and having a more strategic approach.
    - Resourcing is very lean and people are stretched to their limit.
    - Total rewards needs an overhaul in order to stay relevant in the San Francisco job market. Benefits are very basic and behind the curve, and don't match the "people first" philosophy that the company projects. It's incredibly difficult to be competitive in this market with the current benefits offering.

    Advice to Management

    Truly put people first. Listen to your employees- especially the new generation that's joining the company - they have great ideas. Don't just encourage individuality, but demand it. Push back when given direction from the executive committee on initiatives that aren't thought through or have a strategy behind them. Be transparent. Hire more people, so employees are able to be proactive and do quality work. Continue to make and sell excellent products. Continue to put design first in the products. Continue to reward great work and promote people from within. Most importantly: say hello to the employees you see in the hallway. Be approachable, friendly, and genuinely interested in the people that make up this great company.

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