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There are newer employer reviews for Sur La Table

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Helpful (17)

Formerly great company run down by truly terrible management

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Middle Manager in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Middle Manager in Seattle, WA
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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 Management

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.

Other Employee Reviews for Sur La Table

  1. 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


  2. Helpful (7)

    Exhausting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Love the products. Had a great vibe originally. Good discount. Culinary centers are awesome. Great benefits for full-time employees.

    Cons

    NO training for managers. No across the board systems in place to help managers starting out. Incredibly huge workloads for managers with little to no payroll.

    Advice to Management

    Stop heaping work on your store managers. Invest and train your people. Let your store managers have lives away from the company.


There are newer employer reviews for Sur La Table
There are newer employer reviews for Sur La Table

See Most Recent

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