Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
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Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated 15 August 2014
Updated 15 August 2014
608 Reviews

2.8
608 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
250 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.  

    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

    Pros

    Discount discount discount flexibility part-time

    Cons

    holiday hours and schedule are difficult

  2. 6 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

    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
  3. 2 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)

    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. 1 person 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)

    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.  

    Program Manager

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

    Pros

    Laid back culture and just infront of Fisherman Wharf

    Cons

    Senior Management Shys away from taking responsibility

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work part time

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

    Pros

    Flexible scheduling, although now you are required to work three days a week
    Excellent discount across all company brands
    Learn a lot about the products and cooking
    Great team at the store makes it a fun place to work

    Cons

    New leadership is changing the policies of what made this brand so great for consumers.
    Having on-call shifts every week and only being able to call one hour before shift makes it difficult to schedule other jobs.
    Long hours during holidays and little training of seasonal workers makes job difficult, as well as payroll cuts that leave you without enough people working critical days.
    Can be difficult to deal with rude customers, especially for the pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop cutting the hours, especially in the stock room We have not had a full time stock person for 5+ years and it shows. We cannot unpack boxes, stock and keep the back clean without dedicated staff.
    Change the on-call policy--having to wait till one hour before shift is ridiculous and is a time waster for many of us, keeping us from other jobs.
    Create a better tool for communication with casual people, especially emailing our schedules during the holidays.
    Bring back the contests where we actually win something!
    Eroding the corporate culture from 10 years ago--where we were there for the customer--is going to lose us customers. Already they are going to Macy's, Costco and other brands rather than Williams-Sonoma, because we aren't offering to be there for them. People go to Nordstrom's and Williams-Sonoma and pay higher prices because of how we care for them.

    Recommends
  8. 1 person 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)

    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
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    It Was Fun Working At The Call Center!

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

    Pros

    The Pros of working at Williams-Sonoma were great employees , everyone had a welcoming type of feel! The managers really try and help you succeed & there is always room from advancement! They are always giving away free things & having raffles to keep all the employee's engaged! PLUS there is ALOT of overtime available especially around the holidays & summertime!

    Cons

    The pay could be better ;

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Disorganized, profit oriented.

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

    Pros

    Associates get good discount, even on most sale items. Most associates and some of the managers were nice to work with.

    Cons

    Inconsistent schedule. Poor distribution of hours to associates - favorites get more hours. Lower pay in comparison to other retailers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat associates decently and fairly. Invest time training associates instead of constantly having to hire to replace those who left out of frustration.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    The worst waste of a year of my life!

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

    Pros

    My former co-workers. They made coming in every day worth it.
    Free coffee and tea.
    Clean building, climate controlled.

    Cons

    Favoritism abounds.
    Antiquated technology.
    No communication from upper management. Apparently the people actually taking the calls and speaking with the very upset customers that corporate lies to don't "need to know" anything.
    If you are considered a threat to your supervisors job, you get nothing from them. NOTHING.
    Awful point system for attendance. Seriously? You make people wait a WHOLE YEAR before a point comes off of their attendance? That makes the work/life balance you so proudly promote moot.
    Promoting the unqualified because you "like" them. It's business people, not a popularity contest!
    Clueless directors and a general manager that is getting played so hard by her favorites.
    Shoddy products that make for terrible calls.
    Age discrimination abounds.
    Allowing regular associates access to other associates performance reviews.
    Gossip is a way of life.
    No time frames from site to site. Customers have zero idea when they are going to be updated with information on their orders that cost thousands of dollars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please please please read what I have wrote, learn from it and change it!
    There is a saying in the call center industry that you should learn and apply on a daily basis.
    "The only constant in a call center is change"
    Changing for the better. Improving your successful areas and revamping what is not working with improve both the customers experience with the service department but also to improve your employees morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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