Williams-Sonoma

www.williams-sonomainc.com
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Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated March 4, 2015
Updated March 4, 2015
704 Reviews
2.8
704 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
300 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 87 reviews)

  • Work life balance - is great as long as you get what you need done (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 39 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A lot of inconsistencies, poor leadership,

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fsa in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Fsa in Las Vegas, NV

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Discount, well-maintained lunch room, good lunch program, nice products

    Cons

    Too many to list but for starters order process is flawed, the supervisors and/or managers are only there to put out fires for their subordinates and the customers. I say fix the problems with work-flow process and you won't need that many supervisors and hopefully have a lower turnover rate in employees. Good luck!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Carefully consider choosing systems that work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Awful place unless you were on the favorite list

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Customers were generally very kind and understanding. Decent employee discount, though I never used it.

    Cons

    Management played favorites big time, and if they didn't like you, for any reason, they made it painfully obvious. Don't bother going to HR to report inappropriate behavior from a coworker because they'll just attack you about things you've supposedly done wrong and refuse to provide proof, and you'll never actually be able to file a report. If you exceed expectations in any way your supervisor will accuse you of somehow cheating. If you weren't a favorite then requesting any kind of time off or schedule change was impossible. Insufficient training to both employees and management, and if you ever need help you get belittled. Your supervisor will tell you you're doing your job wrong and when you ask how to do it correctly the response is "well, I don't know how to do it, ask your teammates". Extremely difficult to get a Floor Lead/Sup on the phone for help, and when you do they're response is usually "well what do you want me to do about it?" If you get on anybody's bad side they will bully you until you leave. Leads will sit at their desks and gossip LOUDLY about people getting in trouble/fired. Customers are given sub-par assistance, and the employees are treated worse than the customers which is really saying something. Overall, everyone is incredibly immature and disrespectful, and they spend more time eating than doing their jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attendance policy needs a major overhaul. More sufficient training needs to be provided. Workplace needs to be more professional.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 11 people found this helpful  

    Unrealistic expectations and inadequate resources

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager
    Current Employee - General Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Discount is 40% off all full price merchandise excluding electrics. An additional discount is offered during the holiday season for cutlery, electrics and cookware.

    Cons

    Retail is an extremely challenging line of work. Managing a store could be argued to be far more demanding then overseeing a district, region or corporate function. The leaders at this company are disconnected, they don't know what it means to work in a store. The bar is constantly raised when the bare minimum is not even achievable in the majority of stores. There is no payroll. Most stores get 220 hours each week. That includes all of management with the average store having at least 2-3 full time managers and at least 2 part time managers. In all stores at least 2 managers are exempt. Responsibilities of the store include painting, patching, unloading the UPS truck at least 3x each week with an average of 100 cartons. During the holidays the average store receives 300 boxes 4+ times each week. The store offers complimentary knife sharpening, online returns, and send sales for customers. The only people allowed to complete RTV's and many other shipping/receiving responsibilities are the exempt managers, and with a manager needing to oversee the floor at all times, do the math. Exempt managers work a minimum of 6 days a week, 10+ hours each day. If they don't, the store will fail. The backrooms are treacherous, kitchens filthy and no budget to do anything about it.. When I joined the brand I had high hopes of a long and successful career. I had previously managed a district and joined as a GM to start something new and different and I was excited. I can honestly say, unfortunately, that my sentiments are shared by 90% of the managers (particularly exempt) that I have interacted with. The DM's are also super over-jobbed and under trained. This is a highly stressful environment with little incentive to join. The pay is not competitive. If I had known a year ago how awful WS is to work for I would have run from the recruiter. I truly hope this review helps guide others in making a more appropriate career choice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have to spend money to make money, and on the right things. Invest in talent and training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Horrible Hypocritical He**hole

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fsa
    Current Employee - Fsa

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Absolutely nothing known to humankind

    Cons

    Lies, Disrespect, Abuse, Manipulation, Condescension

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a soul!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Don't do it!

    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Chandler, AZ

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Great discount, and great co-workers

    Cons

    Made the Presidents Club 2 years in a row (sales over $300,000) as a Design Studio Specialist. No comimission and paid a paltry hourly wage. Wanted full-time, but the only full time are managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All DSS should be full time. Enough of clienteling, email captures, credit card sign ups. Staff the damn stores.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    No ma'am Pam

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    I liked the fact that I only worked four days a week..

    Cons

    There were favorites in the work place, which is completely unfair to people..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so darn lazy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    very negative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    discount, fellow associates, tasty samples

    Cons

    Corporate culture, Unreasonable upper management mandates, only part-time associates so that they do not have to offer benefits, no training but expert knowledge is expected

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At least pretend that you care

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 13 people found this helpful  

    Please provide your stores with functioning equipment!

    Current Employee - Associate Manager
    Current Employee - Associate Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    I get to meet a lot of wonderful people who come in to the store for our knowledge, enthusiasm, products, and new ideas

    Cons

    The infrastructure of the company, as well as the store itself, is not capable of supporting the business at the most basic level. Cutting payroll adds insult to injury. We are sinking with no life-ring to hold onto, and no one to help us.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PLEASE invest in your business. First, payroll. We cannot work with just two people in the store. It is unsafe, and unrealistic. Second, and probably more important: you must update your computers, cash registers, office equipment and telephones. Your business tools are obsolete, and the customers see that. It is absolutely humiliating to have something as basic as the website refuse to load (multiple times), or the register freeze. This is a daily occurrence, not an occasional situation. I have to call Store Support that I have the number memorized and have a preferred analyst. This is Williams-Sonoma: we are selling top-notch product using bottom-tier tools. merch locator is a disaster: the search string is not automated, and one line of items can be called many different things. Ready to play " guess how this sku is listed in merch?" It regularly takes me up to twenty minutes to locate an item in the system, bc it has to be exactly as typed in by whatever agent is inputting data, and there is no standardization. Lately, it's getting to the point where I dread helping my customers, bc it's like, great, what's going to go wrong on this one? No sku, and twenty minute SKU hunt? Have to go in the back to get something, but no one else to help me climb the latter and hoist down the box, worried that I'm going to get hurt? Try to order on line but the computer freezes and loses their order, the. You have to call customer service, who tell you to call back in 24 hours? Or, merch says you have 12 of them, but can only find 2. We look like absolute incompetents and it is embarassing. INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS! You cannot run a "high-end" business in 2015 with equipment from the 90s. It cannot be done. YOU are eroding your brand, not us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Worst corporate company ever!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There are no pros. Worst decision of my life to work here. Finance team is dreadful and lacks friendliness. Now that I have left, I see how bad I had it.

    Cons

    Promotions are far and few in between. People can have the same title for 10 years before they get promoted. Most people don't get a bonus structure, and they have no care about your personal work life balance.

    Even on salary, my managers would NOT let me take a lunch when it was busy. Wtf? The micromanagement here is disgusting. Thank God I am out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing can be said to help. Management is pompous, and they act like they are doing you a favor to keep you employed here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful  

    A great company history, but core values and culture are being sacrificed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager
    Current Employee - General Manager

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company history.
    Great products.
    Great people.
    Great customers.

    Cons

    No ability to leverage payroll to drive sales.
    Little or no work life balance.

    Extremely difficulty to get a response from corporate partners.

    Constant pressure to improve key initiatives such as in home business but little or no payroll or support.
    Little to know training program.

    Field is afraid to speak up, without repercussions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    +Stop ignoring the field address the payroll challenges. With constant cuts to payroll it is impossible manage the amount of workload the field is seeing everyday. If payroll is a concern, stop wasting it on executive visits. I would think senior executives would want to see how stores are really operating not a staged perspective. Way too much money is spent and then cuts are made across the field to pay for it.
    +Ensure field has payroll to train managers and associates. Too much information is being sent down but no payroll is allocated to train. Stores cannot train during business hours with minimal coverage, while processing shipment, implementing visual changes, calling clients, and engaging customers.
    + Money is being wasted on visual sinage. The field does not have the manpower to keep up.
    + The field needs a way to manage shipment. Provide stores with accurate daily box counts. Support stores with enough payroll to process shipment. Stockrooms are a safety hazard and managers cannot process shipment and manage the sales floor simultaneously. I

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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