Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma San Francisco Reviews

Updated June 9, 2017
302 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

2.8
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Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
146 Ratings

302 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 76 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Paralegal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (4)

    "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.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  5. Helpful (14)

    "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?!


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Zero Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. 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.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "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


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Skip unless you are desperate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (5)

    "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.


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