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West Elm

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West Elm

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West Elm Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Sep 28, 2021

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Found 31 of over 702 reviews

3.3
50%
Recommend to a Friend
62%
Approve of CEO
West Elm President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
237 Ratings

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The Work-Life Bowl

1y

works at 

Accenture

I don’t know if this belongs in this bowl but dunno who else to ask - I’m about to upgrade my furniture for the first time ever and am going to buy a sectional, light gray or neutral. Love the mid century modern look + deep seat cushions. I don’t want to wait 6-9 weeks for a custom one like most of West Elm. Where should I buy?

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Reviews about "upper management"

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  1. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Just a big hype, all about social image.

    Aug 8, 2019 - Project Manager in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great discount, beautiful corporate office, nice co-workers, good air-conditioning. They have ice cream parties, free coffee, manicurists come in, etc which is great because the hours are long. Open concept working, most associates sit with ear phones at their computers all day and you're not bothered too much.

    Cons

    Turnover is insane, no systems or structure, poor quality furniture with lots of customer service issues. Management is proud of acting fast to implement new ideas or implement outside services that don't last 2 years because no one thinks of asking the associates who actually have to implement these things of the logistics of doing so. If associates do bring up these issues, they are told not do focus on the negative aspects -and especially don't mention them on conference calls or meetings where upper management is present. Without their great social media presence, they would be nothing. Compensation is very poor compared to competitors, yet they waste tons of money big ideas and new programs that drive all associates insane and impact their ability to do their jobs, only to abandon the program down the road when they finally see it doesn't work. And the technology is from 1980s. There's a definite 'in crowd' or 'yes crowd' that gets promoted throughout management and gets moved from department to department as they keep ruining things because they have no management skills, but upper management likes their 'yes, that's an amazing idea' I get so sick of hearing 'WOOO HOOO!!!' screamed at every conference call and meeting - so fake. Very reactive environment and not at all proactive on what needs to be addressed.

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    8 people found this review helpful
  2. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    DO NOT TAKE A JOB HERE. RUN...RUN FAST!

    Apr 3, 2019 - Inventory Management in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The office is beautiful. It overlooks the water and is truly a showroom. It is a great commute for those who live in Brooklyn. There were some wonderful, talented, and driven coworkers I met while working there.

    Cons

    Poor management. The turnover rate in inventory management has been atrocious. This was not the case several years ago when the team was led by an exceptional leader. This should be the first writing on the wall to corporate that something just isn't right. Upper management is downright nasty (borderline verbally abusive) to direct reports and it is tolerated. Management takes no accountability for not giving proper direction. When elevated, this unfortunately does not get addressed and the more junior level associate is indirectly punished or decides to quit. Systems are basically non-existent and the ones that do exist there is no one who knows how to properly use them. Everything is very antiquated and takes ten times longer than it should. OTB should not be Excel based for a company of this size. Hours are extremely long and there is no work life balance. There are so many unnecessary last minute fire drills. It was common to miss scheduled exercise classes, dinners, etc. post work hours. There are very few working parents here or they have full-time help/rarely see their children. Pay is not competitive for NYC. If you come in with fair compensation be prepared for no future raises.

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    12 people found this review helpful
  3. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Hot mess

    May 6, 2017 - Sales Associate in Bondi
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Learn a lot of skills very quickly due to the high demands of the job - Have a lot more responsibility than most part time retail jobs - Good staff discount

    Cons

    - Upper management is appalling and makes ridiculous demands - Ridiculously high staff turn over over the years I worked there I had over 15 different managers and saw over 60 staff members come and then go - No paths for progression, management is too overwhelmed and disorganised to actually do performance reviews - A highly stressful job that is not worth the money - Company loyalty means nothing/no one cares

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    4 people found this review helpful
  4. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Love the company culture

    May 1, 2022 - ASM- Assistant Store Manager Sales 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Do care about the employees

    Cons

    Upper management isn’t the right fit

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  5. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Mid-Level Product & Mediocre Upper Management

    Jan 23, 2013 - Sales Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great discount at all William-Sonoma brands. Employee recognition programs reasonably generous and very visible. Sales goals were obtainable compared to similar furniture retail brands.

    Cons

    Upper management on a corporate level was highly disorganized. If you were lucky enough to have a great general manager (like I did in the beginning) with an understanding that people came first, then you worked at a decent location. Complete and utter lack of diligent, timely and effective customer service on a corporate level. There was virtually nothing you could ever do for a client past thirty days; collateral was never informative enough about the full descriptions, dimensions or functions of a product and product availability was a crap shoot. Third party delivery was over priced and virtually out of anyone's control. Product became less boutique and more cumbersome to sell as there were too many components and SKU numbers for the simplest furniture - clients were overwhelmed and ringing them up was too piecemeal. The visual staff was over inflated. These are the decorators without actual interior design capabilities and were much better stylist than store planners. The stores were often too cluttered or too overwhelmed with non-essential build-outs that it was impossible to navigate or too difficult to keep refreshed though out the day and still interact with customers.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!

    Jan 22, 2016 - Stock Associate in Denver, CO
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    40% off entire store employee discount except local items those you get 20% off If you no-call/no-show you can still get your job back any time

    Cons

    If you're expecting to get paid on time this is not the company for you. I only worked there for a short time but my paycheck was messed up more times than not, and I got my FIRST paycheck over a week late, and the mgmt. kept telling me 'a check was cut it should be here is a few days' (what?!?) Management is rude and disrespectful to employees Communication between upper management and line level employees is almost non-existent Management allows employees to listen to offensive music creating a hostile working environment You must use your OWN mobile device data to complete parts of your job

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    4 people found this review helpful
  7. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Great management and product line, somewhat hindered by infrastructure problems and stock issues.

    Sep 22, 2014 - Sales Associate 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great culture and team sales attitude. Company feels intimate and warm and there is good exposure to upper management. The clientele is largely easy to work with and pleasant to assist.

    Cons

    Difficulty maintaining stock and high shipping and delivery costs for customers who need to order items online.

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  8. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Great To Have On A Resume, And That's About It

    Dec 14, 2019 - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The corporate sample sales. Work here for 6 months and you can furnish your whole apartment with less than $1,000. The company, from an outside perspective, is really cool and hip and people will be impressed that you worked here. You can learn a lot here if you go off on your own and seek out opportunities to learn. I certainly learned a lot while I was here, for what it's worth. The company's social consciousness initiatives and designs are inspiring and unique.

    Cons

    I worked for West Elm corporate HQ for several years and the experience left me in awe of how a company that appears so cool from the outside can be so... not cool to work for. First off, it highly depends on the quality of your manager if you work here. If you happen to have an amazing manager, they can shield you from some of the more unsavory aspects of this company for awhile. However, if you have a bad manager, working here is about as bad as it gets. The real downfall of this company lies in the fact that it is entirely controlled by its parent company, Williams Sonoma, on the west coast. Every decision, down to the nitty-gritty details, need to be approved by executives on the other side of the country who have zero context on anything. You will work hard, get good yearly reviews, and be promised a promotion for 2-3 years with nothing to show for it. It happened to me and it happened to most of my coworkers as well. You do not get promoted at West Elm unless you cozy up to the right person at the right time (or your manager leaves and they have no other choice). If you are entry level, forget about moving up at all. Also, the pay is abysmal. Anyone under VP or Director level is being taken for a ride and they get away with it because it has its name going for it. People are excited to be able to say they work at West Elm and it does look good on a resume. I was confused by this at first, considering that West Elm makes the most money of any Williams Sonoma brand, and yet no one is paid well. Every townhall is a celebration of how many more millions we made this quarter... It becomes clear when you find out what SVP's, the president, and the CEO make per year. Then suddenly it makes sense where all that money is going. To say that the systems and communication methods here are archaic would be putting it lightly. Every form of communication has to take the form of an email. Any new idea is immediately shot down by corporate or told that it just can't happen because changing the way they do things would be too hard. The result is that anyone with ambition gets frustrated and leaves within a year. The office culture is sterile and awkward. No one talks to each other and all attempts they have made to 'fix' their workplace culture has just made it even worse. They use the office as a showroom for their contract furniture lines, which means people will randomly come up to your desk during the day and look at the drawers and surfaces while someone from the company is doing a sales pitch. This also means that you're expected to maintain a certain aesthetic at your desk at all times. The office kitchen doesn't supply snacks or basic amenities like silverware (there are about 20 forks for an office of 200+ people) and any suggestions for improvement are ignored. Upper management is toxic and all act like they are the 'it' crowd. The president remains in a closed door office 24/7 with an assistant outside that will bark at you if you try to go in and talk to him about something. Therefore, unhappy employees keep to themselves since it's obvious that any attempt to bring up issues or suggestions is not welcomed. Stay far away from West Elm unless you don't plan to work here long. If you do work here, milk it for all its worth and move on to greener pastures before you go insane.

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    18 people found this review helpful
  9. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Not Great

    Aug 15, 2020 - Sales Manager in Denver, CO
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Discount, high energy, parent company with additional perks and discounts

    Cons

    Lack of oversight and creativity from upper management. Poor use of resources and lack of communication, distribution chain, and poor logistics. No mobile online presence.

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  10. 2.0
    Current Employee

    No Work/Life balance

    Feb 24, 2016 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Great Co-Workers. -Inspirational Atmosphere. -Fun product. -honestly, that's about it. I would tell most people to run.

    Cons

    -upper management does not care -corporate offices have absolutely no communication -one giant popularity contest

    7 people found this review helpful
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