Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma San Francisco Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
300 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

2.7
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
144 Ratings

300 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 (2)

    "company culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Head of Design in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Head of Design in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company with great support. Bonus is great.

    Cons

    Stress level can be high.

    Advice to Management

    slimline the communication and make less dramatic changes.


  2. "Eh, ok place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of room to create your own business. Pretty much all women in leadership roles. Good location in San Francisco

    Cons

    All women in leadership roles. So many women working here that it is pretty catty. Each week management freaks out about a new objective so a lot of work is scrapped.

    Advice to Management

    Let employees work from home - this would make work/life balance much better when working 60 hour weeks. Add more staff when needed - seems like people are not replaced as they leave.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Some depts great, others not."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They have an entrepreneurial mindset and are open to inventive ideas. The people I worked with were great. Culture was uplifting in my department.

    Cons

    Restructured jobs 2 years in a row. It's ALL about the Budget. Will implement new process or technology based on $ not on effectiveness. People First is one of the values, but only applies to certain people.

    Advice to Management

    Values and culture are inconsistent department to department.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Sourcing Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sourcing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Sourcing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time

    Pros

    Typically high pay, nice offices for the most part, HQ in SF with sister brands in NYC and Portland

    Cons

    poor vacation policy, poor maternity leave policy, zero work from home policy


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Creative environment but high turnover"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sourcing Directory in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Sourcing Directory in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Strong female leadership and advancement opportunities. Opportunities for recognition. Very creative environment and excellent talent. Felt proud to be associated with the brand and product. Social responsibility was a priority at the company with community give-back and strict compliance policies with vendors.

    Cons

    Did not feel that they truly put "People First" as was their motto. Lacked innovative ways to retain employees long-term whose salary over time was not in step with market average. Executives often had to tighten budgets and do hiring or bonus freezes but did not impact their own bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    Think outside the box with respect to employee retention. There are creative ways to motivate long-term associates such as sabbaticals, market equalization of salary after x years, better vacation policy, etc.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "sales associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Alameda, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Alameda, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company discount. Interesting customers. Excellent education in retail branding. Williams-Sonoma brands are marketed beautifully and it's a joy absorbing the digital and print marketing materials and brand positioning displayed. As a part-timer, my hours are flexible and management works with me to accommodate by day job.

    Cons

    Store management personnel is hit or miss...mostly miss. I've worked as a part-time associate at a Williams-Sonoma retail store and a Pottery Barn outlet. Two out of three General Managers were tough to were for. POS and inventory management technology seems dated and is difficult to navigate and use. Also, there could be more of an effort to provide a break room for employees. Since the breaks are so short, there isn't a lot of time to go off-site and it would be good just to sit down some where for a minute. (This last issue isn't as petty as it sounds; if you're on your feet all day, you need somewhere to simply sit rest occasionally.)

    Advice to Management

    My experience with store management has not been good. Sales associates are the main point of contact with customers and if sales associates are poorly trained or find themselves in difficult circumstances because of prickly management, that's not particularly good for the outlook/attitude/demeanor of the associate and thus not good for sales. At some point, the discount doesn't make up for poor working conditions and managers who can be irrational, self-important task masters. Corporate should really pay some attention to this.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Reality check needed"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fair pay, good benefits, nice work environment/office

    Cons

    horrible bureaucracy, long hours,

    Advice to Management

    reality check needed- we make pretty product, we are not curing cancer!


  9. "designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great community great opportunities every day to contribute

    Cons

    small team for the work expected


  10. "Product Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Senior IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Nice place to work in SFO

    Cons

    Commute is bad from South Bay


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Run... Far, far away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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?!


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