Williams-Sonoma

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  • Culture & Values
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16 people found this helpful  

After a blissful decade, I am now embarrassed to work at Williams-Sonoma.

General Manager (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

Pros-Great Discount
-Mostly Fun, Energetic, Passionate Co-Workers
-Awesome Products

ConsFor the first time in a decade of tenure, this week I became embarrassed to work for Williams-Sonoma. I don’t say that lightly-for many years I have laughed when recruiters from other companies have tried to lure me away, but I always knew that Williams-Sonoma Inc. was the gold standard. Not any more.

It’s not that Williams-Sonoma was a perfect workplace; like anywhere, there have always been pros and cons. The difference was that previously there was not the disconnect that exists today between upper management and the field. There have been signs of these issues for over a year, but this week it became clear that the Williams-Sonoma culture that I used to love so much is in the past tense. Despite the fact that my store is on target for all payroll costs and earnings YTD, I and every single one of my fellow GM’s have been directed to cut our payroll this week and next to a minimum that we normally use during the slowest times of the year. I run a mid-volume store and tomorrow, a Saturday in December, I will run the store with myself and ONE other person all day. All of the things that my company has always said separates us from the competition is out the window. Need a gift wrap? Sorry, you’ll have to take some ‘giftwrap to go’. Buying a 15 piece set of cookware? Sorry, I won’t have staff to help you to your car because I literally will not have one extra person to do so. Need some one-on-one help with some new cutlery? Maybe Sur la Table can help you. No customer will be greeted when they enter the store tomorrow because I and my one other person will be at the register all day. I hope I don’t have to have a bathroom break. Incidentally, the previous guidelines from the same Saturday in previous years would call for 8-12 people working at any given time.

We had a conference call earlier this week with an EVP of the company in which she demonstrated, with breathtaking clarity, her utter lack of understanding of our operational practices. She was literally instructing every GM in the company about computer processes for payroll management that don’t exist. Disturbing. I would crawl over broken glass for my DM and RVP, but there is a point at which the corporate leadership has to lead the culture, or else the culture dies. It’s dead.

Advice to Senior ManagementAt this point I don't even know where to start. See above.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    going down hill really fast.

    Business Analyst (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros: 40% off sample sale doesn't fire slackers and under performers if you know… Cons: location (near pier 39) politics salary favoritism lack of process co workers are not helpful no… Advice to Senior Management: listen to employees and accommodate, recognize high performing employees rather… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    gone from good to bad, no longer classy

    Sales Associate (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros: nice employees to work with at bottom level Cons: This company is no longer a classy upscale store that carries what you need or is good to their employees. Instead we carry silly… Advice to Senior Management: Sorry but the CEO since Chuck died has run this… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

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