Williams-Sonoma Reviews | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated April 29, 2017
317 reviews

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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
141 Ratings

317 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Tuff work life balance for entry-level employees (in 58 reviews)

  • Poor upper management provide no direction or continually turn the ship around into another direction (in 75 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in West Hartford, CT
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in West Hartford, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    nice atmosphere, great products, competitive pricing

    Cons

    everything else , snotty co workers, scheduling


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Sales Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, Store Management that means well, (mostly) good customers, (mostly) good products that you can take pride in selling. Great discount if you have another income stream in order to pay for the products.

    Cons

    Corporate leadership completely oblivious to sales floor realities. Poor compensation, poor advancement, poor motivation. Success trickles only upward while failure gushes downstream.

    Advice to Management

    The "people first" motto is hogwash. As is the new brand promise to "welcome, empower and inspire everyone". The only people who appear to be valued work in the SF HQ executive suite.


  3. Helpful (7)

    "Enjoyable but not worth the stress"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Salem, NH
    Current Employee - General Manager in Salem, NH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discount is awesome, team members are phenomenal, great products, and you learn a lot about food and beverage. My house is a much better place now thank to the great things I've learned.... and purchased!

    Cons

    Pay is mediocre for all levels of employees from cashier to GM. Overall work load is impossible to accomplish if you work less than 60 hours a week. Minimum labor which is based off of sale percent versus matrix which is in my opinion financially effective but operationally backwards. Not much direction or training for team or management. Corporate frequently changes direction given, making it hard to keep track of what to and what not to do.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a clear and concise message. Evenly distribute work load.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Great people, great products, great discount, but deteriorating company culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Professional in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - IT Professional in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some really great people.
    Lots of really great products.
    Great associate discount: 40% off on all except electrics which are 20% off.
    Free shuttle services from SF corporate offices to BART and Caltrain stations.

    Cons

    Minimal PTO: 2 weeks a year for the first 5 years. Corporate offices are closed for 2 days in January and employees are forced to take PTO for that.
    Low compensation for the SF Bay Area, even by Retailer standards.
    Shrinking benefits e.g. no more summer hours, no more company picnic.
    Cumbersome annual review process. People are rated on a bell curve so team members are basically competing against each other.
    In IT, people do not feel respected or helped to succeed. Projects are often not scoped clearly, and budget and timelines are decided behind closed doors without input from the people who need to execute those plans.
    Third party vendors are treated poorly.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people with respect. Start with better benefits.
    Look at ways to help people succeed. Involve them in decision-making, take their feedback into account, reward and appreciate them.
    Think about why good people are leaving.
    Think about ways to create a positive, encouraging company culture.
    WSI has so much potential, but soul-searching and action is needed to get there.


  6. "Williams Sonoma corporate office"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Contractor in San Francisco, CA
    Current Freelancer - Contractor in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, some people are nice

    Cons

    Low pay, not ethnically diverse, snobby people, cheap, will not hire, HR not responsive


  7. Helpful (9)

    "General Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Asheville, NC
    Current Employee - General Manager in Asheville, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent discount, supportive district manager

    Cons

    Excessive demands and expectations, with no additional payroll support..Says good life work balance, but to take care of demands, 60 hours a week, breaks are virtually nonexistent for a GM, old operating systems

    Advice to Management

    Beware


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Not what I expected"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Quality Products, Market is Yuppies and affluent Baby Boomers

    Cons

    I was a part time seasonal work at home employee. While i was suppose to be sales only, that was not the case with most of the calls. I would say 75% of the calls I got were unhappy customers. When i tried to help them, as i was encouraged to do, it wound up costing me grief with my fellow employees. Soon I wised up and forwarded most calls to another associate. So if you hate aggravation, this is not the place to work, and definitely not worth it for the low pay Poor training, inadequate computer order system, and poor support. It was difficult to do anything . Finally just when I thought I was learning the job, myself and many other employees were unceremoniously fired under false pretense of a sales meeting, 2 days before Christmas Frankly if anyone has managed to work there for a extended period of time, you should grab them !

    Advice to Management

    All that I can say from my perspective, which is someone who has been in middle management, owned my own internet business, better figure out something pretty soon because this company appears to be broken


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Service Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Associate in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Service Associate in Oklahoma City, OK
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people and work culture is awesome.

    Cons

    Inadequate tools and processes to help our customers. Software and computers despirately need updating. Training and product info has improved but not enough. Alot of departments arent setup in care center to share info or have a silo mentality. Policy seems to work against the associate to create a successful outcome for the customer, to the point the associates have to juryrig the system to get a good result.

    Advice to Management

    Executive leadership needs to listen to both customers and associates rather than shareholders so much. Investment in upgrading systems, software, and training will payoff big in the end. Encourage the sharing of information and ideas for a more efficent faster result for the customer. CEO needs to listen to the director of the call centers more


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Buyer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Buyer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    West Elm is a bright light within the brands.

    Cons

    Talent is not valued, there are no growth opportunities within the Company. Pay is not competitive.

    Advice to Management

    Employees feel there is an Ivory tower Management team. The Recruitment process is out of touch with the merchandising process.


  11. "Not As I Expected"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Work-From-Home Associate in Columbus, GA
    Current Contractor - Work-From-Home Associate in Columbus, GA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    You get to work from home is the only pro here

    Cons

    Out of date software...Software used is from the 1990's. You have to perform 3 different commands to get it to do an action, this makes the job much harder than it really has to be

    Ineffective Training....Training was for 4 weeks. Training felt rushed, seemed like they were more interested in getting the associates out there than they were making sure the associates were well equipped to handle the responsibilities of the job.

    Low Pay...For what the job entails, could be making the same amount working at McDonald's.

    Problems with Promo Codes...They don't always work which causes the customer to get angry and yell at the associate

    Unrealistic Metric System....I understand the need for excellence but their metric system is laughable. They expect you to give 100% in return you get 20. I guess how the corporate world is though. They send out email (almost threatening-like) emails that if you don't meet their very difficult metric system you will be let go.

    Not Enough Communication....Customers were calling to find out delivery dates for their order not knowing that some of the items in their order were on back order but they never received any notification concerning this. Having to tell a grandmother that their grandchild will not receive their gift in time for Christmas because the item was on back-order was the worst, The real sad part was that the customer was never notified of this so he/she could not cancel the back ordered item and order a new one in-time for Christmas. So many issues with orders.

    If i am not offered a full-time position at the end of my contract i will count myself lucky and would have dodged a bullet. Even if i am i will decline , i do not want to work with a company who expects the associate to strive for excellence but they themselves are not doing the same to make sure the associate is able to do this.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rushing your training. Tell your trainers to take the time needed to train the associates so that they are fully prepared to take on their responsibilities. Spend more time doing hand-on training than asking the associates to read up on the training manual.


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