Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma San Francisco Reviews

Updated June 9, 2017
154 reviews

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San Francisco, CA AreaCurrent Employees

2.9
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
80 Ratings

154 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 59 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. "Paralegal"

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

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

    Pros

    Good team even though small

    Cons

    Often short handed with small team


  2. "Great company!"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good flexibility, great environment to work in, friendly people, managers actually care about success of their employees. There is no i in team type of mentality, you never feel like you are on your own, you always have full support.

    Cons

    Benefits could be better, some offices could use an upgrade and maybe some free snacks and drinks. It's a bummer to have paid vending machines. Merit increase isn't great but you take what you get. Promotions at times are way over due for those who deserve it.

    Advice to Management

    Please, keep caring and supporting your employees. Makes people perform better knowing we our managers have our back.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "company culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Sourcing Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  5. Helpful (4)

    "sales associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. "designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  7. "Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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

  8. Helpful (13)

    "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.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "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.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Inventory Management - Distribution"

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

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

    Pros

    Enjoyable work environment with a friendly and collaborative eteam.
    Great employee benefits including a generous discount.
    Semi-casual dress is acceptable in the corporate offices.
    Supportive and passionate senior staff.
    Multitude of training resources available to all associates.

    Cons

    Moving up can be difficult, as turnover at more mid-to-senior levels is generally low, and interior candidates are not always considered first. Annual percentage of pay increases is somewhat low.


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