Williams-Sonoma
2.9 of 5 533 reviews
www.williams-sonomainc.com San Francisco, CA 5000+ Employees

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 533 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

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

Laura J. Alber

(216 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend
533 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store"
    in 78 reviews
  • "generous employee discount for sales associates and lovely fellow associates"
    in 47 reviews
Cons:
  • "There is truly no work/life balance here - despite what they say"
    in 22 reviews
  • "Disconnect between reality in the stores and what upper management thinks/dreams"
    in 32 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

 

Great Place to Learn

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsGreat product and Operational structure
Wonderful people
Fun place
Generous discounts
Great place to learn retail business

ConsPoor employee appreciation
Not a giving/ sharing company
No room to grow
Not enough resources for the tasks expected
Very poor corporate/field communication and accessibility

Advice to Senior ManagementTop management should look at going back to their original roots (with focus on employees), restructure operational demands to meet the low cost expected or plan to invest in labor to meet tasks and ensure consistent customer experience.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Going downhill, everyone is leaving! Don't come here if you're looking for a happy career!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time

ProsOne of the better things about working here is about the people you'll meet. There are some genuinely good quality people here - along with the bad apples you meet, of course. It's a shame many of these good apples are slowly but surely leaving the company. Sure, we have early summer Fridays, but these early Fridays use to be year-round. Costs are constantly being cut - even though the company does relatively well. Why aren't employees rewarded more? Another good thing about this company are that the teams here know no boundaries to perfection. They are very focused on being perfect, which is great and admirable - but soemtimes given the situation - it's doing a little too much and a bit draining. People need a life. You don't have to be 100% and wear everyone out on things that may not matter. 80-90% is good. Let's call it a night, people. If need be, let's work on it tomorrow and/or prioritize what's REALLY more important. Lastly, the holiday Children parties are great. However, if you don't have any kids, there is likely no party for you to participate in during the holidays. If there is, it is a small department thing that may very well be on a strict low budget. If you ask me, I'd rather have a party to enjoy with my coworkers than one with my kids.

ConsFor one, early Fridays year round are gone, as mentioned. For two, management can be very belittling, and too uptight. The tone of voice and choice of words can be very condescending and straight up rude.

Work/life balance is HORRIBLE. Most of the people who write on here that they think work/life balance is reasonable must be working on hourly pay. Company provides no comp time, and only provides bonuses for sr level and above. Even then, the bonus is not guaranteed at the full 10% even for all the hard work you put in! Hell, DINNER isn't even comped when you stay late to work. This company is beyond stingy. What's a few extra dollars in making sure I'm happy and well fed so that I can continue working hard and longer for you?

The company morale here is very low. They do nothing to support team building activities, nothing to celebrate welcoming(besides your welcome lunch with your manager), accomplishments, departures (I'm talking about good people who have left the company too!), and nothing to celebrate holidays. The company is very cheap and they do not care about retaining employees. They work you to the bone and are surprised when you are unhappy. It's not rocket science.

Nobody I have talked to likes working here. The turnover is crazy. I have watched many of my coworkers leave right before my eyes. Word of advice - when deciding where you want to work, why would one choose WS when so many other companies in the bay area offer so many more perks? The last time I spoke to my coworkers before I left, many of them told me they couldn't want to find a new job and get out as well.

Give the company a try. Let's see how long you last.....

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat people with RESPECT. You are no better than any of us lower titled people. We bleed the same way don't we? And just like me, you can be fired to. No one is invincible.

Also, show recognition and don't be afraid to praise and/or spend a few dollars on your employees. Stop being cheap and trying to save every single dollar.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Very Satisfied Seasonal Sales Associate at Williams Sanoma in Marietta, GA

Seasonal Sales Associate (Former Employee)
Marietta, GA (US)

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

ProsGreat managers and sales associates. Very helpful associates made learning easy and enjoyable. Customer base very nice and they enjoy shopping in the store. Great associate discount.

ConsThe pay grade is low, $8.40/hour. As in all retail, late working hours and weekend shifts are required.

Advice to Senior ManagementShow appreciation for great store managers and sales associates. Receiving recognition for a job well done is a great method for keeping great employees happy.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Excellent company to work for

ACB (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

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

ProsGreat culture. Management team is friendly and supportive. Good pay and benefits. Work load is manageable. Early Friday release during summer!

Conssome of their offices physical condition is shameful. For being a fine home furnishing corporation, the condition of their corporate offices is less then desirable. We have had a leak in the ceiling for over a year and no one bothers to fix it.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Overworked and Underpaid

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

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

ProsThe discount and the food samples.

ConsThe tedious deadlines, the wasted time in large meetings, last minute fire-drills, the 50 analysis projects only to have your manager tell you, you should have looked at this instead. The lack of communication and expectations.

Advice to Senior ManagementCheck in with employees, ask if they need guidance, what are they working on. Share your opinions and ask for theirs.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Company culture/attitude trickles down

Creative/Corporate Headquarters (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

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

ProsFamily of brands is well known and well regarded. They draw smart, talented people with solid backgrounds and experience. On the ecomm side, people work hard, but they seem to be having fun.

ConsExecs have one foot firmly planted in the past. Teams are chronically under-resourced (not enough people to do the punishing volume of work). Salary-wise, they're notorious lowballers and the perks are minimal and pretty old school. First place I've worked where company mission (their "competencies") seems to be pure lip service. Culture is cold and elitist from the top down. Execs seem to not care at all how the sausage is made, what toll it takes to execute against their ever-changing directives. Not a collegial place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet with the times. Live to your competencies - for real. Crunch numbers to free up headcount. Commit to better work/life balance initiatives. Revolutionize the attitude there from the top down.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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This company is going down hill fast

Assistant Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 8 years

ProsGreat discount, enjoy working with store employees

ConsConstantly decreasing payroll and resources, yet increasing duties and responsibilities; lack of awareness of the corporate office of unrealistic goals; poor planning; poor pay; lack of respect for the store level by the corporate office; misleading sales advertised to the public

Advice to Senior ManagementGet back to what made the company great in the past; great products, and great service. The company is trying to do do too much and as a result sales continue to plummet and employee satisfaction is almost nonexistent.

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

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Bad CEO & WSGC Inc

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

Prosdiscounts
good looking people at work

ConsThe CEO is clueless, what happened to the global expansion
questionable vendors
no team work, back stabbing environment
sr managment is lost

Advice to Senior ManagementBring back Gary F
Get a clue about biz development
Get rid of the CEO!

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

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Great co-workers; inept management.

Sales Associate (Former Employee)
Lynnfield, MA (US)

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

ProsDecent employee discount (20% or 40%); colleagues were enthusiastic, understood products and tried to work together and keep environment positive.

ConsIncompetent management: very little appreciation and respect for employees; inability to keep up-to-date with company standards; manager created difficult dynamics in store. More than 50% of new employees left and cited manager as reason. Surprised health inspector didn't visit more often and make suggestions.

Salary too low to be able to shop at W-S; for a high-end and expensive place to shop, salary was too low.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire more competent managers. Sometimes "twenty-somethings" don't have enough life experience or ability to see beyond themselves which results in difficult work situations. Lots of waste at this location. Allocate more payroll hours so that store can be run effectively.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Transportation Intern

Transportation Intern (Former Employee)
Olive Branch, MS (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma as an intern for less than a year

ProsComplex company, great products, interesting and exciting place to work

ConsManagement was too busy to provide challenging work

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate project based work before interns begin

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Williams-Sonoma reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura J. Alber. All 533 reviews are posted anonymously by Williams-Sonoma employees.