Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com
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Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated 11 September 2014
Updated 11 September 2014
612 Reviews
2.7
612 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
254 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

154 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nice people, work/life balance, leadership varies

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Low politics between teams who focus on getting the work done, big company feel where there's good work/ life balance, great discount across suite of brands (includes Pottery Barn and West Elm)

    Cons

    Some units at leadership level are increasingly political, micromanagement of finances, cheap (no funds for trainings, celebrations), below market salaries and/or abyssmal bonuses, teams foster relationships amongst themselves but leadership doesn't have a people-focus to decision making

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Seasonal Sales Associate

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

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

    Pros

    The people were wonderful to work with and the products were mostly top of the line

    Cons

    The scheduling was a little unpredictable

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Corporate upper management might want to be more friendly and less intimidating to working staff and store managers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Executive Leadership Team leads the way

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

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

    Pros

    What is most important to me today is to work at a place where I feel the leadership likes to win and succeed and also focuses on giving back to the communities where we do business. This exists everyday at Williams Sonoma, Inc. Acting like an entrepreneur is alive and well here which means hard work with a real sense of meaning and purpose.

    Cons

    It's retail so you have to love being flexible and not sweating change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What do you need from your associates to achieve the growth goals?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    In it for the long term

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    we have a rich culture of service to our external customers and internal associates. It's possible for any associate to make a difference. Amazing products- proud to be part of the team.

    Cons

    we sometimes need to slow down and listen to associates- ask them to actively be part of the solution.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your vision and dream. Never forget our values-it's what has made us great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Room For Improvement

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

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

    Pros

    They paid well.
    Had a good discount.

    Cons

    The people who worked there treated other employees horribly unless they were friends.
    Lied when telling me the temporary position had ended.
    No good management.
    No good training programs.
    Would take time to help you.
    Snobby people.
    People were leaving left and right because of how people treated each other and the work ethics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the people you have working for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 6 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
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Demoralizing culture that drives best talent away

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    40% Discount, Sample Sale, Working on high quality brands, Smart co-workers

    Cons

    Leadership: For the most part, the leadership is extremely weak. Management is insecure about their decisions and compensate by micro-managing their reports - all from the top down. My own manager was terrific, but it's difficult to see good workers treated poorly, and unprofessionally by unreasonable leaders, who demand excellence, but only give ineptitude. Our department has very weak leadership that cannot stand up to their own employees abusing the system, yet nitpicks on petty issues. Cronyism is alive and well at this company, so make some friends if you want that 1.5% raise.

    Environment: Morale is lower today than in 2009 when we had a large round of layoffs. Why? Despite profits and signs of growth, the company has cut budget and operations at the expense of employees. The company is still operating at recession levels. This means: employee attrition, occasional furlough days, pushing much needed upgrades to systems and processes etc. Basic office supplies are in short order. Hot water disconnected for awhile. The one lasting perk of early Summer Fridays (which used to be year-round early Fridays) has finally disappeared. Working from home has been banished officially. The phrase 'Doing More With Less' is the go-to mantra. I've seen more passive aggressive arguments and co-workers in tears in the past 2 years than in a high school. The company's mission of 'People First' is laughable.

    Work-life balance: Very poor. Expectations of long hours, no WFH, and no comp time. Working mothers made to feel bad when they have sick children. In sharp contrast with other teams that do not show up to work, produce poor results and get promoted.

    Career growth: As mentioned in other reviews, growth is very slow unless you manage to become a one of the chosen few. Those that manage it see promotions every year. Others languish for years despite hitting all of their goals and producing consistent work. Moving departments is encouraged on paper, but rarely done; moving teams is much easier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being cheap with your employees is not going to cut it, so loosen the purse strings a little. Throw a real Christmas party. Employees are not asking for much and know WS is not a tech company. Take care of these people in real ways (not band-aid fixes like occasional breakfast treats), and you'll improve morale tremendously. Implement a manager feedback system if you really want to keep the best and brightest. Train your leaders on management techniques; remove the ineffectual ones. Analyze why people are unhappy and leaving; act on it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Director

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Innovative, Creative, Marketing Experts, Leaders in Product Development

    Cons

    I never had a bad day at Williams-Sonoma.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up. Stay positive. Drive Results

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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