Williams-Sonoma

www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
679 Reviews
2.9
679 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
293 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

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible culture at HQ.

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of baked goods around from Gracious coworkers and sometimes the test kitchen would hold small tastings.

    Amazing view of the Bay and Alcatraz from the top floor of the building.

    Cons

    No focus on culture from leadership.

    Constant indecisiveness all the way up to the end of the production cycle, causing lots of spin and higher than average late nights on Janet Haye's whim.

    Frantic work environment.

    The feeling that your job isn't to have any new ideas.

    The feeling of having to come in early and stay late just to do your job each day.

    Working from home was frowned upon, and a battle to get the privilege. A real lack of flexibility.

    You don't have a voice if you're not senior level.

    If you do bring something up to management, there's a lot of red tape to go through and you're left with no real outcome, except "maybe someday".

    Old fashioned authoritative structure. No one is approachable.

    I didn't know how bad the culture really was until I left.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    You are either in the game or you simply get sent out of the game

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Olive Branch, MS
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Olive Branch, MS

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work 3 or 4 days a week except during peak seasons. Great overtime pay if you are willing to work the extended hours.

    Cons

    Too much power bestowed on some Shift Leads, if you are not in their good books or willing to dance to their tune, you might pay with your job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management need to base decision making especially (who they keep or let go) on company's policy, efficiency and great productivity. They need to verify every report before taking drastic decisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person 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
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  5.  

    The best people in retail for Williams Sonoma.

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

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

    Pros

    People who care about eachother for all the right reasons. Always having a culture of exceptence and excellence.

    Cons

    Trying to make every guest know how important they are, never enough time in my day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work smarter not harder.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Internship

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

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

    Pros

    Great experience working at the store and learning about the corporate life. Lots of meetings and it is very frantic work environment. Beautiful office and flag ship store is amazing to work at.

    Cons

    Pay was low
    Department was not prepared to have an intern so not much for me to do. (Though other interns were more active some were hired on immediately)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a more structured internship program that can be applied throughout the company and make it more unified. Overall great program.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person 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
  8.  

    Great seasonal job

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Fast paced environment with customers passionate about the products. Enjoyed introducing unique products to customers that enjoyed cooking and baking. Good employee discounts so we could get first hand knowledge of products to share with customers.

    Cons

    Was told the shifts would be shorter than they really were. Management did not always seem to be interested in the customer; could not walk a customer to another part of the store to sell other items as we had to stay in our specific section.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Control Buyer

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

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

    Pros

    The experience and discount are amazing. It's a great place to climb the corporate ladder.

    Cons

    The culture has changed since Howard passed away. Finding the right supervisor is the key to advancement. Easy to burn out if you let yourself.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 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
  11.  

    Manager

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Good benefits package, treat employees well, lots of training opportunities, great products

    Cons

    Stressful job circumstances, not a lot of room for career advancement

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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