Sur La Table

  www.surlatable.com
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177 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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  • Culture & Values
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Career Opportunities
  • Disapproves of CEO

12 people found this helpful  

Formerly great company run down by truly terrible management

Middle Manager (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

ProsThe people in the trenches have good intentions and work hard. You will rarely find yourself locking horns with non-executives; the majority of the staff is trying to make the best of bad direction.

ConsI spent many years at SLT corporate before I finally admitted that upper management was never going to change, and I gave up and left. With the perspective of a year away, here's a parable capturing what the experience was like. In this story, every city is a project, or an operational goal, or a business objective. "VP" is leadership. "Staff" is you.

VP: We need you in Los Angeles right away!

Staff: We'll get started. It'll be a three day drive.

(next day)

VP: Where are you? We need you in Chicago.

Staff: I'm in Portland. I'm on the way to Los Angeles.

VP: Forget Los Angeles. Go to Chicago right now!

Staff: Um, okay, it'll be a week or so.

VP: You have two days.

Staff: That's not really--

VP: Get going!

(two days later)

VP: Why aren't you in Chicago?

Staff: We told you it wouldn't be possible. We're going as fast as we can.

VP: Never mind Chicago. We need you in Portland immediately.

Staff: What? We were just in Portland. If we'd known--

VP: Stop arguing and get moving!

(two days later)

Staff: Okay, we're in Portland.

VP: Great. On your way through Idaho, we need you to pick something up.

Staff: What? We're already in Portland. We needed to know about Idaho yesterday.

VP: Go back to Idaho, do the pickup, and on your way, stop in Houston.

Staff: What? Houston isn't between here and Idaho.

VP: Get moving!

And so on, and so forth. If you don't mind being yanked around like this, if you enjoy wasting your time being sent down blind alleys and dead ends by inexperienced micromanagers, if you can handle the realization that the people in charge have literally no idea what they're doing from day to day and are running the business at a blindfolded improvisatory sprint, then have fun. Me, I like to know that there's an actual strategy being followed. I don't respond well to reactionary panic.

Advice to Senior ManagementAll the things I would say to senior management here, I already said to them while I was at the company, and it didn't make any difference. They're not interested in trusting their people. They're not interested in empowering their staff. They insist on continuing their inexperienced managerial style, which is to say, they believe that being in charge means telling everybody what to do every minute of the day, even if it's made up on the fly. They don't understand that experienced, skilled managers hire the best people, and then Listen To Them. Good employees have the best interest of the company at heart. They have good ideas. They understand the problems better than you do, and they have better solutions. Your job as an executive is not to solve the problems you don't understand anyway. Your job is to listen to your employees, trust them, and solve *their* problems so they can solve *your business's* problems. That is how it's supposed to work. But I've said this a dozen times already, and it fell on deaf ears. They're just not interested.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    12 people found this helpful  

    Work/Life Balance is Lacking...

    Store Manager (Former Employee)

    I worked at Sur La Table full-time


    Pros: If you love cooking, and I do, this is a fun… Cons: The benefits leave a lot to be desired. Full-time employees pay a reasonable contribution to cover themselves for medical/dental. However, if you are… Advice to Senior Management: Upper management claims to want work/life balance for the store managers, but it's all palaver. With a Q4 store manager work schedule that dictates… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Exhausting

    Store Manager (Former Employee)

    I worked at Sur La Table full-time for more than 3 years


    Pros: Love the products. Had a great vibe originally. Good… Cons: NO training for managers. No across the board systems in place to help… Advice to Senior Management: Stop heaping work on your store managers. Invest and train your… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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