Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated 28 August, 2014
Updated 28 August, 2014
611 Reviews

2.7
611 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 82 reviews)

  • Best Reason to work here is the employee discount and the Sample Sales (in 50 reviews)


Cons
  • No work life balance, payroll constantly being cut some DMs had little pets who could do no wrong (in 25 reviews)

  • The current upper management does not appear to care about the employees or their customers (in 33 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Some of the nicest people I have ever worked with !

    • 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 as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Inclusive Culture, Work Life Balance, Learning and Development are not only encouraged, but ample opportunity to do so. Along with the appropriate offering of training in house.
    I really enjoyed the ALL Hands San Francisco Associates Conference held at the Historic Galileo High School - followed by a Wellness Carnival at the Maritime Museums Bocce Ball Courts this week.
    I was inspired by the leaderships presentation and speeches.It has invigorated my ability to 'dare to dream' ! It was an all round wonderful day of learning and engaging. Lunch was provided by a great selection of food trucks, followed by camaraderie and physical activity with fellow co-workers.

    Cons

    to be honest, I have not experienced any yet.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Little support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ACM
    Current Employee - ACM

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The company offers great benefits from insurance to retirement plans. Cross brand discounts are great at 40% off retail. Rewarding associates trough contests and recognition of tenure is a nice touch.

    Cons

    Leadership can develop great initiatives but have no concept of the working conditions at the retail level. Expecting 2 people to run a store ( FOH, BOH ) is insane. I have had the pleasure of working at more than one brand of WSI and have experienced more disconnect with this brand. Disappointed in the leadership of this company but thankful for the experience and growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider the back end of an initiative. How will it be accomplished while both challenging our teams but realistically able to be completed and supported?
    Stop creating new visual sets every 3 weeks, they can't be done at current payroll restrictions. Consider creating signage that doesn't change every new set but carries over. Stop wasting food on props and let's cross brand with props. Live branches cut and mailed to stores to use in vases, really!!!
    What a waste of money.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Unappreciated

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great discount and sample sales are really fun. Great benefits. For the most part the employees are really smart and dedicated to their business which makes it a nice place to work. I worked at WS for 8 years and was highly satisfied until 2 years ago when management shifted.

    Cons

    Career pathing is non-existent so very little room for advancement. It's nearly impossible to move up unless you're in the "in" crowd or get lucky and a manager decides to leave. Managers are not trained and, in my experience, have no people management skills thereby over-working their direct reports with no regard for work/life balance. Having to work every weekend (mandatory!) through peak as a corporate employee speaks to mis-management and disregard for work/life balance.
    HR is under-utilized and under-staffed. They seem absorbed with hiring only and lose track after the initial hire. I returned from a 6-week LOA and had zero contact from HR. When I decided to leave the company (giving 6 weeks notice) I had to contact HR the day before my last day about scheduling my exit interview.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on training all managers. HR is uninvolved and should be engaging and meeting with all employees to have an idea of job satisfaction, etc...Providing breakfast and lunch is not a reward when asking employees to work extended hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Overworked, under payed and unreasonable expectations!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Stock Associate  in  Miami, FL (US)
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Miami, FL (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Generous employee discount. Flexible scheduling to fit you personal needs. Good open door policy.

    Cons

    Work load is extreme through out year. Even worst around the holiday season. Always cutting hours. How can anyone live on 10 to 15 hours. Wages extremely low, not competitive for industry. Most be extremely knowledgeable of product, customers want to know how things work, taste and where they are made. No training program for product knowledge. Upper management always want more but don't pay more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop cutting hours. Be realistic with work load and give sufficient hours for task at hand. Stop categorizing people as casual and part time. Give people full time and enough hours to live a comfortable life.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Corporate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate  in  Atlanta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I loved my coworkers, I had no issues with the management team, and I completely adored my job! The discount on items was ok.

    Cons

    The upper management was WAY too corporate. They would rather spend money on the company jet and store visits than on incentives and whatnot. They also felt that the employees were expendable. I guess they actually were.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes it's ok to ask questions rather than just fire people. And some people would rather have a paycheck than a discount. Especially if the discount isn't THAT great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I feel good about what I do, and I love my co-workers, but none of us are ever going to get promoted.

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people are great
    The management team mostly tries to make you feel good about what you do
    You're allowed to be pretty independent

    Cons

    Raises are really, really small
    Promotions basically don't happen
    Limitations on employee discount - doesn't stack with most other promotions
    Lacks a culture of cross-training, especially when you're seasonal

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more time, money and development into your team

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just not for me

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You can look on their products online and great 40% off discount.

    Cons

    Training starts way to early, the point system is unfair.....they like to embarass you and walk you out and then come back and get your belongings ...no dignity even when its a termination 5 days before christmas...they are cut throat and if you are not favored you will not be spared.....turn over rate is to high

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, fun place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  Portland, OR (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR (US)

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, fun place/culture, good discount, reputable products.

    Cons

    They lost me when they rolled out their company credit card they wanted to push on customers, along with high sales goals without any sort of incentives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For paying your employees such a small salary, don't expect your numbers to be where you want them to be. Also stop having associates ask so many ridiculous and daunting questions when customers are checking out (i.e., what's your zip code, e-mail address, would you like to open a credit card, etc.) makes for a frustrating shopping experience for all parties - customer, associate, and long line of people just wanting to pay for their product(s) and get on with their day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great discount for a part-time job

    • 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

    Discount discount discount flexibility part-time

    Cons

    holiday hours and schedule are difficult

  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    The first rule of any business is to treat employees as valued members of a team

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The employee discount available at all brands (WS, Pottery Barn, PBKids, etc) is a huge incentive for the casual/seasonal employee.
    Very pleasant and agreeable fellow casual/seasonal employees, as well as assistant manager , make the annoyances of job enjoyable.
    Opportunity to learn new cooking skills and learn a wide range of product knowledge skills is excellent
    GM does a great job with requests for time off, if not asked for too frequently
    Most customers are pleasant and easy to work with

    Cons

    1) Expectations are at the absurd level. With two employees scheduled, one cannot set up a display, stock shelves, unpack shipment, conduct clienteling calls and/or email, and help customers all the while meeting ever increasing sph, upt, email capture, and credit card selling goals.
    2) Employee productivity based on inaccurate and incomplete spreadsheets cause low morale of hard working employees. Spread sheets that document sph, upt, credit card sales, and emails ignore the breadth of tasks the employee is assigned during a given work day.
    3) Low pay and rare training for the casual and seasonal worker, especially unseasoned hires, is not aligned with company's expected employee product knowledge and work performance. One cannot be an expert about a product after watching a training video, when adequate hours on the floor given to practice the skill are absent. Corporate expects those scheduled 0 - 10.5 hours a week to perform at high levels with little training and no follow up sales time to practice skills.
    4) The required policy that employees must be on-call two days a week forces non-managerial employees to hold off on any plans until an hour before work could possibly start. Continually putting low paid employees' lives on hold is not conducive to high morale and illustrates a disregard for them. Few people are willing to put their life on hold for the possibility they may get a chance to work for less than $10 an hour on a given day at WS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Align employee expectations with what you are willing to give to your GMs in payroll. If you only grant payroll for a manager and a casual employee to run the entire operation, set realistic expectations for what can actually be accomplished.
    2) Data and metrics need to reflect the actual work that is being tasked and completed. Current metrics are seriously flawed and don't reveal the scope of work being completed.
    3) Align pay with skill expectations, skills performed, and local business pay practices. WS cooking instructors are completing high level skills but being paid close to minimum wage. All employees are multi-tasking and performing numerous tasks besides customer service. All employees are expected to learn product knowledge on their own time at home. Sales personnel in neighboring stores who sell clothing only make more per hour. WS Pay per hour needs to reflect these realities. Because there are virtually no career opportunities, employees need to feel they are making an important contribution with their current status. You will continue to lose quality employees if you choose to maintain your current behavioral path.
    4) Revamp the work schedule plan and employee performance metric so all employees have a work/life balance and feel valued. Current practices degrade employees and don't promote an environment where we feel valued and appreciated.
    5) WS customers are attracted to the store because we carry high end merchandise. You have now established a model that treats them like a number, and you are forcing employees to comply with this non-customer service model. Customers might as well go online or to Costco with this new model. Turn back before it's too late.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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