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

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Helpful (14)

Chef Overload Makes a Half-Baked Company

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

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

Pros

One of the friendliest places you'll ever work; wonderful people who are truly passionate about what they do. Everyone tries as hard as they can to get things done and do nice things for their customers. If you want to work at a very traditional retailer from the last century; focused on stores and a catalog then this is the place for you.

Cons

You read about companies like this in school, but never think they still exist. Too many people with their own opinions, everyone thinks their idea is the be all end all greatest thought ever. There is no coordination between departments, communication doesn't exist. The 2 things people say most often are "I don't know what's going on either" and "No one told me that". All the executives are hands on micro managers, acting like they need to do the job, can do the job, and their people are roadblocks. VP's are puffed up workers; meddling in just about everything that happens. Given the opportunity to go behind another execs back they will. Whichever one of the them speaks last gets what they want; unless the CEO chimes in too. No one is interested in learning anything, they just want to be right. There isn't much deep thinking; it's a silly crazy moving target.

Advice to Management

Destroy the seemingly infinite hardened silos, open up, modernize, talk to your customers, think about customers, think about how things are changing, stop standing still. Train every single manager and executive basic management skills. Stop micro-managing, get out of the way and let people do their jobs. Figure out what it means to be a successful retailer going forward instead of relying on what you've been doing since the 1980s. Have you even heard of the internet and social media? Have a vision, set real goals and objectives, figure out what matters besides making money for the Bahraini investment firm that owns you. Learn how to listen to the customers you don't have, but wish you did.

Other Employee Reviews for Sur La Table

  1. Helpful (1)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Dunwoody, GA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Dunwoody, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  2. 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.


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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