Williams-Sonoma Reviews | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated July 11, 2017
323 reviews

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323 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great discount 40% off of most merchandise 20%off electrics (in 175 reviews)

  • decent work/life balance, depending on the time of year (in 47 reviews)

Cons
  • Tuff work life balance for entry-level employees (in 60 reviews)

  • A lot of work, the pay doesn't cover how much the upper management requires of you (in 77 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Merchandising"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Well meaning people, good work-life balance.

    Cons

    I was honestly surprised at the horrific working conditions. The building looked like it had not been cleaned in years. Offices will only be vacuumed if you request it. I think there are bugs living in the stock rooms. The people mean well and are trying to do the best they can with outdated technology. There is so much promise at this company....If they would just clean to provide basic working, livable conditions, and provide a better working culture that trusts their buyers to do what they are hired to do, without the layers of approval and inefficiency, could be a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a new facilities/cleaning company - it's worth the investment!


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Boring Beyond Belief with Low Pay"

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

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

    Pros

    Standing around doing nothing gives you time ti search for a better job on your phone.

    Cons

    Crappy pay, outdated POS systems, restrictive employee discounts. A manic obsession with collecting customer emails, and NO sales incentives.

    I could've lived with the $9 an hour wage, but not the mind-numbing boredom. This is the most lifeless, dull work atmosphere that you could possibly imagine. The job is basically convincing morons to buy overpriced kitchenware that can be had for about 30% less online.

    Advice to Management

    McDonald's pays better than you cheapskates.

  3. Helpful (15)

    "Pottery Barn - tough place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great healthcare benefits (although be prepared to pay your fair share monthly), 40% employee discount at all company brands. Some amazing people work there. Great place to put on resume if entry-level (although pay is low). Great environment for 20-somethings who are hungry and willing to work hard.

    Cons

    Be prepared to work around the clock - emails and texts don't stop at 6pm, be prepared to get calls at all hours, especially if you work on the eCommerce side. Salary is not competitive. Turnover is very high, training and re-training is constant. The company preaches innovation and inspire - however the environment moves so fast that employee well-being takes the backseat to a reactive workforce. Promotions are often given as a preventive measure for employees threatening to quit. The toxic environment is top down - starts with the unrealistic expectations and treatment of the CEO Laura Alber which trickles down through upper management and effects the hard-working lower levels. Training is mostly non-existent and managers/directors are not properly setup for management success.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your managers - bad management trickles from top down. Laura - please work on your delivery and support of your teams. They don't need coddling - they need encouragement and to own their responsibilities - not micro-management. train your upper management to do the same so that entry level employees feel like they are in a positive environment. when business is bad, don't beat down the teams - work with them to find solutions. let the teams plan and innovate instead of being reactive all the time. it's a discouraging environment with many people miserable and in the last two years almost every person with tenure has either left or being laid off. create a better environment and you will see the good employees with come and stay.


  4. Helpful (12)

    "Office Politics Aplenty. Good for some, bad for most."

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Strong product and brand aesthetic. As a marketer it makes your job a lot easier when you don't have to make up for poor merchandise and creative. There is an employee discount and frequent sample sales where you can get great deals. This is a good place to start your career. You get to network with a lot of people and the company is respected in the industry so you'll build yourself a strong foundation for your resume to help launch you to the next opportunity.

    Cons

    Office politics. There is a lot of it here. If you're good with all types of people and your manager likes you, you'll do really well here. If you don't get along with your manager you won't make it very far up the ladder. Your supervisor makes or breaks you here, no matter how competent or hard-working you are. So there is a lot of time that has to be spent massaging relationships.

    Advice to Management

    WSI needs a manager & above training program and a formalized way of allowing people at the bottom to provide feedback on their supervisors and leaders. Continuing to promote/place the wrong people in leadership roles is hindering the business because of high-turnover and employee dissatisfaction across the org. The company has gotten away from being "people first" and needs to go back to that philosophy if it wants to compete in today's market of many Bay Area companies that offer not only better compensation and benefit packages, but strive for a happy workforce.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Associate buyer"

    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

    Pros

    Discount was ok. Sample sale good

    Cons

    You have to pay for parking

    Advice to Management

    Stop gossiping


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discount is 20-40%

    Cons

    Not what it used to be. Corporate has not done well keeping up with trends and advancing as a whole. No innovation whatsoever and they question why stores are making their goals.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your customers and make changes in every way. Fix furniture delivery services - huge problem! Help the stores if you want them to make goals - i.e. have fresh product, have benefits that make it worth the customer coming to the store.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "part time sales associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Westport, CT
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    For the most part, great merchandise that can be stood by.

    Cons

    On call status. calling in day scheduled an hour before shift to see if needed.

    Advice to Management

    On call leaves workers unable to plan properly and unable to count on salary.. Very unsettling to workers, making them not be able to give best performance.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "miss the pay, but not the sttess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    the pay is great but not worth it

    Cons

    mgmt does not care about employees or customers
    customers that curse at you
    lies from mgmt about working from home


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Employee Discounts!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    You get to purchase stuff from WS at 40% off on regular items and 20% off electrics.

    Cons

    Salary is gobbled back by WS with all things you'd like to buy.


  10. Helpful (20)

    "Stock Room Associate"

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    Good discount, enjoy other associates and management

    Cons

    Management keeps cutting employee hours yet expect all the work to be done. I can not receive 200 boxes, unpack and put away in 4 hours. Also stock room is DANGEROUS. Shelves are stocked above lights, block aisles. No where to put merchandise. Not able to send anything back to warehouse, must DEAL WITH IT.

    Advice to Management

    When is the last time anyone has actually worked a stock room? To many products, we are not a specialty store any longer. Each store should be able to control its own inventory instead of being at the mercy of the warehouse. Getting overloaded on certain items we can't possibly sell in a season. Continuing to cut hours hurts the entire team. Two employees on the floor can't possibly give our customers the attention they deserve when buying our expensive products. Allowing only 8 hours a week in the stock room creates disorganization. Stock associates can't unpack merchandise and put away and organize shelves which lead to sales associates not able find items quickly.


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