There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma
There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

See Most Recent

Helpful (7)

Strange. This is no longer Williams Sonoma.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Cleveland, OH
Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Cleveland, OH

I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (Less than a year)

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

I really enjoyed the people that I worked with. The 40% seasonal discount was nice too. The managers are excellent and try very hard to build a great atmosphere. The merchandise is beautiful.

Cons

This business has changed. At this point they value profits over service and it's hurting them. I came in as seasonal help with the possibility of full time work. During the Christmas season I watched as the managers were demoralized by having to send us home during the middle of the day even when the store was busy because corporate gave a mandate to slash payroll, right in the middle of the busiest season. I gave up my days (On Call ) because I told my managers to give them to someone who really needed the hours. We were told not to offer gift wrapping, and one week before we had been told to offer it to everyone. It was misleading because they initially offered me close to 30 hours a week, but I never got more than 13 and that was on a good week. I would have taken one of the other jobs offered to me if I'd known that. They try to keep you around in January so that you can work inventory in Feb , but it became very clear when they started asking even the managers if they would cut their hours (and these women work HARD!) that there would be no job offered. The managers are completely stressed out by the unrealistic expectations and the irritated sales staff. I was asked why I did not want to continue and my response was simple. This is a company that I always admired. I couldn't take a job with them now after seeing what their managers (who are great) go through on the whims of the DM's and the other higher ups. They've lost their professionalism.

Advice to Management

Several things. Go back to what made you good. Your service made you different. You've become like any other discounter. Every one knows that it will be going on sale eventually so they wait for that. Everyday we were told of a new promotion. I was told that the All clad slow cooker would not be going on sale again , but I knew better. I bought it somewhere else and then watched as it did indeed go back to the promotional price. Stop requiring that your sales staff push the Visa Card. It's either a good tool or it's not, but your customers hate that. They all look at you and say...I don't need another card. American express offers way better perks so you can't compete. No one wants to give email at this point either and quite frankly its because every morning there's another promotional email from you.

 Stop the On Call hours. This is disrespectful. Quite frankly, you are building a culture where people do not respect your time, because you don't respect theirs. Putting someone on-call and expecting them to wait until the morning to find out if they're needed is simply lower class policy for a business with the reputation that you once had. I was shocked to find out that you employed it. You need people to work for you who can service the caliber of customer that you have. Quite frankly? We have lives and we need to schedule them.

 Your bridal registry is insulting and if you're not going to offer more service to your brides than just handing them the gun then you should get out of the bridal business. You do not offer a complete enough selection, nor are your associates well trained enough to really be good bridal registry consultants. Let your managers have more input into what needs to happen in their store. Each store is a different microcosm of the community that it serves. You've forgotten that and at this point your branding is working against you. You're over-branded , hence you've gotten generic and unexciting. In short? YOu've lost the essence of what made you great. It's not too late. Go back!

reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  1. Helpful (7)

    When Howard Lester died so did Williams-Sonoma

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great coworkers, discount, exposure to new products.

    Cons

    Low wages, no training, zero appreciation for service and dedication. Do more and more with no thanks. Make sure you scrape by with 2/2 coverage as long as the stock holders have a dividend we look golden on the outside. We went from a people first company under Howard Lester to the bottom line overnight under Laura Alber. We went from a company with vision to a company with metrics. Burdened by email gathering, zip codes, pushing credit cards, clientelling and that's before the transaction is over. For those who never sold used cars it's a hard sell. It was a lovely place to work now it's just a job and that is why they are failing, employees feel the disingenuous atmosphere . Conversely if you are a snake and brown noser you can advance quickly. Drink the kool-aid or move along.

    Advice to Management

    Go back and look at the Howard Lester way. Go back to Chuck's vision. It may be 2013 and things are different but their way worked for many years and yours don't seem to be. Mba's are great but you can't run a company based on numbers alone. Your employees are your biggest asset and they aren't happy. How do you think that translates into your ever day sales numbers?

  2. Helpful (3)

    Management Style Disconnected...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Gift Specialist in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Gift Specialist in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    40% Discount and working with mostly a decent grade of quality products.

    Cons

    Told one thing, trained another, and the actuality was yet another! Was hired and told that I would help plan events for the store and led to believe that it would be an open opportunity to promote the Gift/Bridal Events as well as canvas specific clients to build specific marketed business. Was told one thing and then never given any opportunity or schedule to do anything. It was very odd. I felt like I was on the trading floor at Wall Street. We were endlessly being directed by corporate on what seemed like an hour to hour status. I was never told about the "on-call" scheduling and it was briefly touched on in training after being hired. One call from corporate one day created a "gotta-cut-payroll-storm" and seasoned employees and staff were quickly cut and told to go home at certain times. So my 5 hour on-call status, though called in - was cut to 3 hours. And this was the constant norm. Most weekly schedules had 3 or 4 days of on-call shifts which required you to call almost 2 hours in advance because it took so much time to get there and parking was difficult at the Mall of America. I never got to work on the projects that were "sold" to me. Then you were told on your shift that you would cover a certain area but in reality on the floor, you had to do the "right" thing and help customers in all different areas and ways that seemed disconnected by management. It was very odd and it seemed always "frantic" and disconnected from the genuine opportunity to step up and offer what Williams-Sonoma is supposed to be about -customer service, a great experience for the customer, and relationship building with the customer. The computer systems were beyond archaic. It was not an environment that set you up to succeed. Lots of finger pointing by management for what seemed like their lack of TIME because they were always being run by CORPORATE. Too much disconnect. Not a good experience and felt the whole process was odd. Very outdated discourse - dictatorial and not necessary. The frantic headset in your ear is ridiculous and a big disconnect from the products/customer opportunity. I think Williams-Sonoma is scared of Amazon! Associates might as well be robots.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your hired people and stop the border collie on the your heals style of management.

There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma
There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

See Most Recent

Work at Williams-Sonoma? Share Your Experiences

Williams-Sonoma

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.