Williams-Sonoma Reviews | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated December 3, 2017
257 reviews

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257 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance needs improvement (in 64 reviews)

  • A lot of work, the pay doesn't cover how much the upper management requires of you (in 81 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (20)

    "Run... Far, far away"

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

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

    Pros

    None. Aside from meeting a handful (as in you can literally count them in several fingers) of quality folks who were innocently caught up in this web of lies or bureaucratic nonsense, there is zero advantage for working here. This place will not make you smarter. You will not learn a skill that you didn't have beforehand. Instead the brick and mortar will kill your very soul. You will start to wonder if there is a God or a higher power. Because if such an entity existed, why would They allow this atrocity to even occur much less continue.

    Cons

    This archaic institution is a farce of a legacy. WSI normally draws to mind high end kitchen cutlery and savvy home decor. Peel away a well paved marketing campaign and you find the scurge of retail. There is "somewhat behind" and then there is Williams-Sonoma...

    You know something is wrong when EVERY TIME someone quits, they NEVER let you know WHERE they are going.

    It's basically a hodgepodge of problems. The work load is uneven. You're either working 24/7 or you're not working at all and trying to take credit for someone else's work. For every ineffective 20 lukewarm bodies, you have one star employee. Management is composed of semi-retirees. Executives are even worse. They are just highly paid sheep.

    This is the most political environment and in the worst way. If you are "favored", you can bat your eyelashes and work the system to your advantage (translation: "work from home" and AS MANY VACATION DAYS YOU WANT). If you are "unfavored", well remember that guy who recently committed suicide in Uber (from stress)? You are on the same trajectory.

    You will learn nothing here, except marvel how cheap Corporate America can be. How such an unhealthy environment exists. And dream of leaving.

    There is a reason why everyone in the corporate office looks like life has been sucked out of them and they're a hair-breath away from dropping dead.

    Advice to Management

    Fire all the executives and management. They've done and accomplished nothing. Start fresh. Stick to your budgets and your schedules. It's pointless to have a plan if you're not going to adhere to it. And get rid of useless practices - example: offshore has a 60-70% accuracy rate. Why on earth do you even use them KNOWING THIS?!


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Rigid Corporate Environment, Cliquey Senior Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Sample Sales, and Discount (both of which require you to spend your below average compensation.)

    Cons

    I was excited to have been offered an opportunity at Williams Sonoma, only to come across an archaic corporate structure that is desperately trying to stay relevant. There are a handful of incredibly talented, loyal people that work here but they are hardly ever recognized because the bubble-headed President is too busy running around picking favorites, and praising people within her own circle. Miserable work environment. Gross, dirty shared kitchens. Crappy free coffee. Nice view of the ocean from the Van Ness office, but the workload is so unbalanced don't even expect to see the light of day. I had high hopes for WS, but was really turned off by their small clan of mean-girl leadership, depressing work environment, and lack of professional growth. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND.

    Advice to Management

    Ditch the Senior Leadership and promote some of the millennial's you are so desperately trying to chase.

  3. Helpful (14)

    "Zero Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Employee discount (which you don't use much)
    Brand Name (still exists somewhat)

    Cons

    - Politics
    - Bullying
    - People fired based on whims and Fancies
    - Very reactive work environment instead of proactive
    - IT leadership invests in costly systems that nobody uses. Blame lower people for failure and fire them
    - No structured policy around bonus payout. You might end up getting lower bonus if you have a manager's pet in your team (even though you both have the same appraisal ratings). Bonus payout is completely at the discretion of management.
    - Lots of politics. You will have to align with some VP or SVP to survive
    - All about visibility and shouting the loudest.

    It is a horrible work place to work at. There are bullies in each department according to whom rest of the employees are mere bodies. The so called leadership always stands by the bullies instead of keeping them in check. The SVPs and VPs are mostly bullies. A mere disagreement or a discussion with leadership is enough to get you fired. In last 3-4 years, good managers who tried to stand their grounds have been fired. The best talent is not valued and credit is given to those who can shout the loudest. The best employees and contractors have either been fired, or have left already or are looking for new opportunities. The so called leadership is completely absent and always ready to blame and fire people who had to bear the burden of leadership's bad decisions. If you plan to join this company, be ready to lose your creativity, free thought, honest conversations etc.
    Bad leadership breeds bad culture amongst the employees. Now you never know who is going to rat you out.

    Advice to Management

    You are headed for a train crash if you don't stop blaming workers for lack of your leadership and direction. Stop changing the course ever so often. Value your good employees. Groom them professionally instead of attacking them personally.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Williams Sonoma"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    The discount is supposed to be the best part (20%-40%), but sometimes you can still get things cheaper by using regular promotion codes. Or on Amazon. And if anything goes wrong with an associate order, the company doesn't care.

    Cons

    This company cares very little for their employees. They treat their customers poorly too. The employees are supposed to act like they care about customers, while being urged on their earpiece to sell them credit cards and more items. They also want emails from as many customers as possible. What do you get if you sell more items, credit cards and get emails? Nothing. And then you are told you need to sell at least one more credit card today and then continue to get 80% of emails, pushing the customer if necessary. You need to try to "get past their objections."

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like they matter. Tell them to offer great customer service as their number one priority, and mean it. Update your POS system. Improve employee training; I was never even shown a handbook. Don't change payroll once the schedule has already been posted for the next week (this happens regularly).


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Shipper receiver"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shipper/Receiver in South Florida, FL
    Former Employee - Shipper/Receiver in South Florida, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Discount is a nice perk
    Co workers are nice people( too good for this company)

    Cons

    Management is terrible
    Pay is poor
    Job is physically exhausting
    No compensation for hard work and dedication
    Long term employment and knowledge not appreciated

    Advice to Management

    Try listening
    Revert to Howard's rules
    Value long term employees


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Skip unless you are desperate"

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

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

    Pros

    The products (while increeeeeeedibly overpriced - even for employees with 40% discount) are usually not bad quality.
    The WSI name on your resume typically gets you interviews elsewhere.

    Cons

    Marketing processes and technology are pretty outdated.
    Creative is archaic; still running like a catalog business.
    Most of all....the office is incredibly political. You only get ahead if you suck up to the right people; nothing is actually based on results or performance.
    While the SF offices employ a number of gay men, the overall office is not at all diverse (where are the POC, the gay women, etc., etc. etc.).
    Sexism abounds. Especially from aforementioned gay men :(
    No where to move up unless someone leaves.
    They pay under market value.
    Specific to my team, but we had to do extra work at the whim of executives....on the weekend, late at night, etc. in order to accommodate last minute changes.
    No cost of living increase .... which is insane in the Bay Area.
    Business has been steadily declining for most of retail, and the upper management is not coping well. Knee jerk reactions that create spin and more work, but not results.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting bad managers.
    Allowing feedback on managers' reviews would be a good first step. 360 reviews in general should be standard.
    Step up your recruitment game to make the company more diverse. I literally had to explain what an HBC(U) was to a current recruiter; that is ridiculous.
    Pay for performance, not for politics.
    Stop working on a day by day reactive basis. Start working proactively.
    Use more data to drive decisions; don't base decisions on the gut of a few executives.
    Get some focus. More work does not equal more productivity.


  7. "Exploits contractors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor

    Pros

    Good, smart people in the team I worked in.

    Cons

    I worked for the Pottery Barn brand for two years as a contractor, always being told that I would be hired on in a permanent position when the "hiring freeze" was over. The hiring freeze seemed to happen every time quarterly revenue was released to investors. This company exploits its contract workers to appeal to its investors. My situation was not an anomaly. Would not recommend this company.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "The Plantation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Associate in Memphis, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I get a paycheck and that is it.

    Cons

    Williams Sonoma is the worse company to ever work for. There is so many negatives I dont know where to begin. The AGM is not the best person to work under. They treat you like you are a slave. As an employee I dont need to be micromanaged. The attendance policy is unfair. And with this being a billion dollar company what haooen to tuition assistance for those who want to go back to school and better thenselves

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the attendance points policy and bring back tuition assistance


  9. Helpful (20)

    "Believe the cautionary reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate HQ for Pottery Barn Brand in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Corporate HQ for Pottery Barn Brand in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Super generous employee discount at all brands.

    Cons

    This company that struggles to be relevant has systemic issues that trickle down from the CEO and land as disempowerment for most employees on the corporate side.

    Advice to Management

    Be nicer. A lot nicer. Care about how the sausage is made -- and the people who make it. Be human.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Highly disorganized and low pay."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discount and exposure to high quality cookware. Great co-workers who share a passion for cooking.

    Cons

    Extremely disorganized behind the scenes -- part-time associates are more or less voluteers with scheduling, pay and breaks barely within the law.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your workforce as individuals. Adopt philosophies from retailers like Nordstrom, Patagonia, REI. Invest in people and get a handle on your inventory and IT. Safety is not a video - overhaul your retail stockrooms which are disasterous.


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