Sur La Table

www.surlatable.com
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There are newer employer reviews for Sur La Table

17 people found this helpful  

Formerly great company run down by truly terrible management

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Middle Manager in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Middle Manager in Seattle, WA

I worked at Sur La Table full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

The 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.

Cons

I 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 ManagementAdvice

All 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.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

223 Other Employee Reviews for Sur La Table (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    It is great working at sur la table but there needs to be a lot of improvements!

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

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    They are flexible with work schedules, you mee

    Cons

    They don't follow the rules only when there is a store visit. My managers are unprofessional, disorganized, and don't lead by example. There needs to be more hand on training for product knowledge. Expectations are super high on non-high traffic days. Lots to do in a short amount of time i.e unloading trucks and floor sets. Not enough hours given and the pay is not that great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lead by example, be professional i.e leave any personal feelings kept to themselves. Take the time to give more training on products especially core items that drive the stores sales.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    A fun temporary work experience

    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    Good perks - employee discount, products, fun culinary culture, etc.

    Cons

    Retail - low pay, irregular hours

There are newer employer reviews for Sur La Table

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