Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
636 Reviews
2.7
636 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
271 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 84 reviews)

  • Best Reason to work here is the employee discount and the Sample Sales (in 55 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 30 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 37 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Their "People First" philosophy is a joke

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great discount
    Stellar product
    Sense of community within district
    Feedback from the field is actually utilized
    Contests really help rally the teams

    Cons

    Out of control work load
    No quality of life
    Hard work goes unnoticed
    Terminated as a result of a chronic disease. All they care about is $$, so heaven forbid you should stand in the way of that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that we are human beings and not hamsters just running the wheel. All the 911's were incredibly stressful and then we were expected to provide "world class service" in addition with little to no coverage. Also, go away from the rigid structure of the secret shops and allow store associates to build relationships in a less robotic way.

    Also, hire HR managers who aren't putting you at risk for a lawsuit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place for dedicated teams.

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Strong heritage culture, and customers are very appreciated and valued. The culinary culture is rich, and management wants people to succeed.

    Cons

    We work hard, and always ask people to improve

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We could use more diversity and inclusion

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Nice place to hang out.

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Company discount, low pressure, friendly people, honest and straightforward management, tangible consistent goals and results, family- and community friendly culture

    Cons

    Like most retailers, little budget for great technology investment, except for store operations. Lots of old-times with little innovation, much to risk-averse. Average pay and benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continued the consistent growth and results with time-honored brands and marketing. Exploit technology and be innovative to cut costs/extend margins/become more efficient

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    The call center in The Colony, TX is a circus!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in The Colony, TX
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in The Colony, TX

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

    Pros

    The discount is good at 40%, but the product are so highly marked up that it really negates any real benefit.

    Cons

    The hiring pracices are laughable at the call center in The Colony, TX. The pay is terrible and the technology is beyond archaic. DOS based AS400 is used and this is 2014! Typical greedy corporation that is only worried about execs and maximizing share holder wealth. Attrition is high due to horrible hiring practices, which adds a burden to those already working and actually able to function. Very surprised to see that catalogs are still used so extensively in this day and age and that their upper crust client base is unable to handle online orders. Just a very bizarre place and environment with inmates running the asylum!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Going to have to ultimately update from AS400 to at least Windows 95! Lol.... The kids that get hired have never even seen DOS based programs before. Might take a hit in the greedy overpaid execs compensation and share price, but in the long run dinosaurs become extinct!
    Cash is king, so giving away product is nice, but folks need to make a living, so the greed at the top will ultimately be your demise. Pay more and get decent workers that care about what you are doing and feel vested in the operation. Most there are just there until they can find somerhing better. Think you expect way too much for $11 per hour and you get what you pay for. :)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Williams-Sonoma was the perfect fit for me. Combined experience in culinary with sales and great people!

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have a culinary degree so teaching classes, new product demo, contests to win tons of top of the line product great people who are tenured, associates are appreciated

    Cons

    constantly changing the game on the team, too many elaborate visual changes too close together

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you have an employee that you value, do everything to keep them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very cool workplace, in the heart of the city, great supervisors

    Cons

    Limiting corporate structure, not a lot of fun to be had

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    District Manager that has been with WSI for more than 5 years.

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company truly supports internal succession and career advancement. If you are ready to take that next step they will find the right spot for you, even with another brand within the organization, as I have experienced first hand. Stores are given the freedom to think on their feet and make the right decision for the guest. The overall atmosphere is very entrepreneurial and you feel very empowered by the leadership team. This has kept me engaged and excited in the fact that I can help steer the company in a new direction!

    Cons

    We run complex stores and sometimes the list of To-Do's and the companies expectation can overburdon our team. The trick is to work through your people, not doing it all yourself, and everything will fall into place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please continue to listen to and invest in the field team and stores. Over the past few years the changes we have all implemented together, corporate and field, has built the confidence of our associates and given them the tools to hit their goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Senior management seems committed to carrying the vision Chuck Williams had 50+ years ago. People are proud of the work they do and the products they offer to customers. A big per, of course, is the employee discount.

    Cons

    Some of the systems are a bit antiquated. But it could be a "if it isn't broken don't fix it" type thing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps consider flex-time or go back to offering early Fridays.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    The people are great, the pay is ok, the benefits are great. The IT department however is cumbersome to work in.

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, people, discount, sample sale

    Cons

    IT Department supports production and Projects, and the focus is on production because this is a retail company. The project work is shoddy, and there is not much of a level of satisfaction, as the scope changes rapidly, and projects often do not complete in time due to resource issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    It's only about the C-Suite and Shareholders

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Fast-paced, good product, was once a great company however has changed its philosophy over the past 3 to 5 years.
    Decent discount so that you're enticed to give back the money you've earned. Also for exempt employees the benefit package is comparable to other large organizations.

    Cons

    Extremely high staff turnover, very poor customer service/experience standards, constantly cutting payroll disregarding the customer experience entirely-company only cares about the shareholders and executive bonuses. The majority of staff are miserable unfortunately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-read the founder's rules.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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