Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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3.3
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
81 Ratings

Pros
  • Great Product Great discount Great contests (in 87 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Do not work for this company if you value a work life balance (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management always want more but don't pay more (in 39 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

192 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Rampant with nepotism and leadership lacks imagination.

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A great collection of brands that sell themselves.
    40% employee discounts were a great perk.
    A good place to learn about the retail landscape.

    Cons

    There are many old timers in leadership and senior positions and they hire their friends and former colleagues and also protect them and their incompetence.
    There is a complete lack of imagination when it comes to technology and all decisions come from the top. The processes that are in place just slows down everything and any form of constructive criticism is not acceptable.
    All the good talent either gets burned out and leaves or is literally forced out.
    Base salaries are sub par by the SF Bay Area standards and bonuses are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Please open your eyes and ears and wake up to where the world is headed around you. When you use fancy industry buzzwords, please have an understanding of what it means and how to implement them or if its even feasible to implement them.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Decent place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Freelance Product Design in San Francisco, CA
    Former Contractor - Freelance Product Design in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discount, good people, inspiring architecture at the "ice house ", interesting work, project oriented , employee training opportunities,

    Cons

    Unrealistic deadlines at times, sometimes there can be a snobby attitude from upper management, departments are very separated, silo feeling

    Advice to Management

    Close the gap between worker bee and upper management


  3. Helpful (3)

    Williams-Sonoma

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The workload is not too strenuous, with good hours. Managers are generally supportive and want to see their direct reports succeed. A great company to start out with - you will learn the ropes of the retail world quickly. Most people are pleasant and easy to work with.

    Cons

    Outdated upper management who ask for innovation but are resistant to change. Not much room for growth within your field - you typically don't stray from your assigned medium or projects. Compensation and vacation time is below average for the area.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace the 2000's and let go of the 90's. Allow workers more flexibility and creativity.


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  5. Video Producer

    Former Employee - Video Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Video Producer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A great company to work with. Good, smart people with great creative energy. Everyone was gracious with getting a very complex script and training video produced.

    Cons

    A large company with a lot of turn over. It seems that everyone that I worked with moved on to other companies very quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Good job at inspiring smart people.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Summer Intern

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly environment, fast-paced, worked with many different departments, mainly independent work. Did a great job having me meet the other interns, scheduled activities for us to do. Everyone seems happy working here

    Cons

    Hiring process took an incredibly long time.

    Advice to Management

    Wish this would have led to a full-time offer after graduation. No one from our "intern class" received one. More communication/updates in hiring process too.


  7. Great Place!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Corte Madera, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Corte Madera, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management is extremely helpful and great at training

    Cons

    Between 10-20 hours a week, so not very many hours


  8. Helpful (23)

    A Great Brand, But Sr Management will Burn You Out!

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    The brand is excellent and the company's performance has been superb over the last 15 years. It has a wonderful heritage and they make efforts to preserve it. There are some very talented people working at Williams-Sonoma, as well that are experts at what they do. The location in the city is wonderful and there are some above average perks with working in the corporate office.

    Cons

    Leadership is extremely short sighted, so you need to have outrageously huge patience and flexibility. The top down mentality permeates every brand and provides all of the corporate pain you can take. Most of the best talent burns out or realizes it is time to go, before ever really making a difference. Pay definitely does not match the workload.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your talent. Let them do their jobs and stop assuming you know more - you don't. You will never make the comps you hope for by overworking all your best people.


  9. Helpful (5)

    IT - mixed bag

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    My experience reflects only corporate IT, and may not be indicative of all areas of the company:

    Great discount: if your salary is high enough.
    - The good people are great, are really pushing to make a differance and overcome challangesm but end up getting over worked & often burn out.
    - Profitable...

    Cons

    - Antiquated systems and processes.
    - Afraid of and avoid change or learning new things.
    - Too much middle management & either non technical or afriad of change.
    - culture of "not my team", few take ownership or responsibility.
    - siloed teams dont communicate and often either dont participate or dont ask for participation in projects.
    - lots of cliques, politics and dramatic churn which often results in sabotage & back stabing.
    - projects fail before they start.
    - Too many middle managers & not enough workers.
    - Contractors are treated as disposal; therefore, act as disposable.
    - little to no investment in people, no investment in training keeping skills current, salary and benefits very subpar.
    - its the only place Ive worked where co-workers have yelled at each other or made others cry. Worse, it happened multiple times. Very unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline procroceses & update systems.
    Spread the wealth by investing more in people. The discount is great, but what about health care, training, salary, hiring FTE instead of contractors.
    Clean out the layers of lazy, manipulative middle management.


  10. Helpful (2)

    very interesting

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great discounts, great product design, amazing floor set ups.

    Cons

    poor technology. no training. management and professionalism was very poor and unreliable

    Advice to Management

    take the time to train coworkers, don't make promises one can't keep.


  11. Helpful (6)

    Mixed bag in IT

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work-life balance.
    People are generally nice.
    Discounts are good if you need to furnish your home.
    Projects can be interesting if you can set aside the bureaucracy.

    Cons

    Level of competence varies widely at all levels.
    Contractors in IT produce poor quality code and then move on.
    Lots of gossip and pettiness makes it feel like high school at times.
    Advancement is based on tenure or squeaky wheel.
    Lots of bureaucracy and busy work; the documentation and approval cycle is endless.

    Advice to Management

    Don't accept a huge bonus from the board of directors and then give the shaft to employees, especially when the stock is soaring. If People First is indeed a company value, let the compensation scheme reflect it.



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