Williams-Sonoma

www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA

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

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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

174 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 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.  

    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
  3. 2 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
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  5.  

    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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Retail-Associate

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers( associates) were very supportive and friendly. Great employee discount. Great location. Good clientele. Nice merchandise.

    Cons

    Assistant managers have terrible Nazi management skills. Very negative. Random criticism in front of customers. Plenty of negative reinforcement and no time for training nor positive learning.
    Store is in violation of Labor Laws. Current Lawsuit for not paying employees on time and not allowing for breaks.
    No room for employees to take breaks. Employees were required to use dirty aprons.
    Clearly, store has violated Health Codes. No training for food handlers. The back kitchen is horrific-unclean. Refrigerator was broken for weeks and so was the plumbing. The one toilet was broken.
    Shocking as this Company prides itself on high end merchandise. No quality for employees-retail associates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire consultants to review training for retail store management. Managers need more support and training. Zero tolerance of Nazi commando tactics. Fire assistant managers who yell and belittle associates. Focus on treating Associates "high-end" like the merchandise you sell. Major store restoration...kitchen, clean it up! Allow for decent space for breaks. I was very disappointed working for store 104 as I Williams-Sonoma has a very good perception.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Good Culture, Desire to Change, but does require patience

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

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

    Pros

    Nice place to work if you want to improve business processes in the DevOps space

    Cons

    Hard to teach old dogs new tricks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CIO needs to embrace DevOps to foster adoption across organizations

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Too much politics with no recognition

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance - is great as long as you get what you need done.
    Discount - not only with discount, but sample sales are nice, sometimes they have special extra discounts during the holidays
    People - the people is what makes it worth coming to work
    Open environment - it's not all cubed up

    Cons

    Too many cooks - you want IT to go run with projects, but yet CEO is too hands on with projects and always want changes.
    Benefits and pay - way too low, with the long commute, only work life makes it worth it. Everyone is super underpaid, especially being in IT.
    Lack of growth - having 360 feedback is all BS because the people who suck up to higher ups will always move up and get promoted, where the people who work hard, have great business relationships get nothing
    Too much red tape - sometimes we'll work on projects and next thing you know, we either stop, or there are major changes
    Indecisive - People can't make up their minds what they want in a project, and often times takes too long to figure it out
    Not IT driven - it's all business driven and whatever IT's input is with projects, it generally gets trumped by business

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize the people who work on projects, stop focusing on negatives, but the positive, move people up the ladder for growth and pay people better. OR just have even work remotely because the pay is unjustifiable.

    You have this huge 'DREAM' theme, but it doesn't mean anything if executives don't follow it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    The Epitome of Greed

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    40% discount, Sample Sales, sexy company - it impresses people when you say your work there.

    Cons

    Weak leadership. Very political and promotions are based on favoritism. They profess to value their people but in fact the only thing they value is money. When times were tough no one got a raise but executives still got bonuses.They are dishonest, unfair and under-handed. Human Resources is run very poorly. Toxic environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Live the core values you say you have.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Human Resources

    • 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

    Great brands and products so the discount is worthwhile. Good associates. Women in upper management and not just young talent.

    Cons

    There is a disconnect between associates and upper management. High turnover.

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

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