Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated 9 December 2014
Updated 9 December 2014
661 Reviews
2.8
661 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
286 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 87 reviews)

  • Work life balance - is great as long as you get what you need done (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 39 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Williams-Sonoma is no longer people first - I chose to be a manager somewhere else because their core values have become compromised

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Generous discount across all sister brands. Great opportunity to move between brands in your career growth. Enjoyed people I worked with.

    Cons

    -payroll consistently cut to the point that it hurt the business
    -management unable to coach and develop under performers
    -too many people who have worked there part time for 15 years. They were unable to sell or were cocky
    -consistent disarray with long term planning from buyers
    -quality of product decreased year to year

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to feedback from stores in order to support them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Not for the technologically inclined

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great people, good chances for movement within the company

    Cons

    They do not value technology at all. Computers that are barely held together with tape are given to new employees. Industrial printers for the design team break on an almost daily basis. They have just enough equipment to go around and no spares if things break which is all the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    invest in your company. it's hard to attract good talent when they will not get the tools to do their jobs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    little to no opportunity for career growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    great discount and amazing sample sales and silent auctions. people who really care about their products and want to make homes more beautiful. the location is great even though the building is slowly deteriorating, but there are lots of places to eat and close to embarcadero if you ever want to go for a walk.

    Cons

    inconsistent. upper management pretends to care about your career development but only really care about themselves. there is no work life balance. you put in much more than you actually get out of the position because you have no time to really enjoy your job and what you are doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    listen to the people and their suggestions/complaints.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very engaging company, motivating and authentic. Listens to individuals and their goals and encourages teams.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Very inspiring company, you can contribute and bring your ideas. Room to dream and grow. Honest candid feedback for your future development. You are encouraged to drive your business and are rewarded. Working here is inspiring and challenging and cutting edge for retail and ecom. You get to run your part of the business with support.

    Cons

    Moving faster than we can develop leaders. All teams must ramp up to bring along future leaders the company is young and thriving and needs innovative thinkers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to seek out and ask for innovative ideas. Great company for women very supportive. Love the people first culture. Continue to push for diversity and inclusion it is a great match with company goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Williams-Sonoma was the perfect fit for me. Combined experience in culinary with sales and great people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Manager
    Former Employee - Associate Manager

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have a culinary degree so teaching classes, new product demo, contests to win tons of top of the line product great people who are tenured, associates are appreciated

    Cons

    constantly changing the game on the team, too many elaborate visual changes too close together

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you have an employee that you value, do everything to keep them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Senior management seems committed to carrying the vision Chuck Williams had 50+ years ago. People are proud of the work they do and the products they offer to customers. A big per, of course, is the employee discount.

    Cons

    Some of the systems are a bit antiquated. But it could be a "if it isn't broken don't fix it" type thing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps consider flex-time or go back to offering early Fridays.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A happy new hire

    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I have been with the Pottery Barn Kids brand for 8 months now. I was at another retailer for many years. What I have found most refreshing here is that I I feel appreciated and recognized for my hard work and results. Top management stays close to the Associates in the field and stay connected and engaged. Successful companies are those where top managers never allow themselves to get removed from the customer. They truly care about the people that work here. They care tremendously! I love the people in every WSI brand. If you want to be a part of a team with mutual respect and trust, this is the place! It is proven that the number 1 reason people leave their job is they don't feel appreciated. I am motivated to work hard and deliver strong results and contribute to the overall success because I feel that I matter and feel supported.

    Cons

    It's a lot of hard work but because the people are amazing and I have the best boss ever!!! It doesn't seem like work at all!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    District Manager that has been with WSI for more than 5 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company truly supports internal succession and career advancement. If you are ready to take that next step they will find the right spot for you, even with another brand within the organization, as I have experienced first hand. Stores are given the freedom to think on their feet and make the right decision for the guest. The overall atmosphere is very entrepreneurial and you feel very empowered by the leadership team. This has kept me engaged and excited in the fact that I can help steer the company in a new direction!

    Cons

    We run complex stores and sometimes the list of To-Do's and the companies expectation can overburdon our team. The trick is to work through your people, not doing it all yourself, and everything will fall into place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please continue to listen to and invest in the field team and stores. Over the past few years the changes we have all implemented together, corporate and field, has built the confidence of our associates and given them the tools to hit their goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    very good company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV (US)

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits good, you are like your own supervisor, people are friendly and you choose your own schedule

    Cons

    your a number not a name, strict attendance rules however understandable,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    The Only Corporate Direction is Down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    the discount
    amazing team in our store

    Cons

    Too many to list. See below

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time for upper management to step out of the office and put on a green apron. Anonymously. Your employees, many of whom have worked for you for many, many years are drowning. We are drowning in metrics, feature changes, inconsistent and last minute perimeter revamps, an ineffective and expensive Jr chef's program, slow computer systems; minimal coverage; overflowing stock rooms due to reduced hours; a corporate driven culinary program with zero flexibility, regionalism or promotion focus; commissioned sales type expectations on a minimum wage; zero to little training, and very low morale. You need to experience all of this. Not for an hour, not for a day, but long enough to understand to make some changes or this store we all love and care about will vanish forever.

    It's time you understand the implications of your decisions and pie-in-the-sky ideas (in-home, anyone?) at the store level. While I understand the ultimate goal of getting into our customers homes to create a dependence on our whole brand, I don't think you expected our customers to take advantage of the opportunity to have a retail associate come into their home and throw their child's birthday party all because we are expected to make customers happy at all costs. We are not trained decorators nor have we been armed with even the minimal tools to successfully make a sale in someone's home. No samples, no tablets, having employees wait at the store for the phone to ring for the "BIG" in-home sale that never comes, in-home hours allocated at the expense of store hours or unloading the truck to run the store? I don't think you want us to become glorified multi-level marketing sales people. If that is the plan, it's time to share it with your associates.

    The future of retailing is showroom marketing with interactive experiences. It's being driven by technology and convenience. We see this everyday as our customers bring in their phones and price-shop right in front of us pulling up our website faster than we can on our antiquated computers. Despite all of this, our brand still means for many consumers a sense of elegance and class. The "made in China" labels on the back of our holiday plates where we used to see Spode and the stocking of items that can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond are cheapening our brand.

    Having been a commissioned sales person in a former life for many years, I knew that the more I sold the more the company made and usually the more I made. Despite this background, I used to love the team-selling atmosphere at W-S, which has been tarnished by SPH. I would love to see the sales figures prior to the SPH model. I have a hard time believing they are any different. We all miss the sales contests and premiums that made the job fun and rewarding. Now we have employees stealing sales from one another with no result other than to break down camaraderie and the team. Also, it is difficult to achieve SPH goals when you are a consistent closer or have a Monday morning open shift when everyone brings in returns. Your employees took a part-time job because it fits into their schedules, and usually aren't available 24/7, so employees on the bottom of the SPH usually are working the hours when there are fewer customers in the store. You want managers to "schedule your better performers during peak hours" but what if they aren't available?

    One word about our team: if it weren’t for our managers, everyone would be out the door. They lead the ever-changing charge with smiles on their faces. In our store, they manage to bring fun, a positive attitude and treat our customers and us with the “People First” philosophy despite the fact they don’t always receive the same. Customer service is always at the forefront and we do what we can to get to “YES”. We have a great team, work hard despite our concerns and always manage to laugh.

    Finally, it's time you conduct a demographic survey of your store associates and understand what a wealth of knowledge and experience you have in your stores. Many of us are college-educated, passionate about food and entertaining, professional, loyal employees and spend more than we make IN THE STORE. We used to be your best customers but when the only two things that are great about working at W-S are the people and the discount, it's time for reflection. The people are now our friends and the discount has been watered down with customer promotions making it not as special. Besides, I can buy Oxo anywhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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