Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com
There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

1 person found this helpful  

Catalog Call Center

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

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than an year)

Pros

So many shifts to choose from. You get a 40% discount

Cons

You probably cant afford the stuff they sell (even with a 40% discount) due to the low pay.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You guys did a solid job, just remember that you get what you pay for!!

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

656 Other Employee Reviews for Williams-Sonoma (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great products and compelling company narrative, but unfair and unethical business practices

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay, and descent benefits. The discount is good, especially if you live near an outlet. I had the priveledge of working with many very awesome people.

    Cons

    Discriminatory hiring and promotional practices. Poor technological integration. For example, why can't a customer use one shopping cart for Pottery Barn, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids, and Williams-Sonoma when shopping online? You can do that at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, etc., but not WSI. The company is riddled with legacy systems and an army of people trying to get everything to work together.

    The company is very siloed, and people seldomly move across divisions. There is a lot of stagnation in management. In distribution operations, for example, some people have been in the exact same facility and job for over 15 years, with minimal development, and no motivation or prodding to do anything else or anything more. In twenty years, I know of only two people that have moved from an operation/division outside of San Francisco to a position at the headquarters in San Francisco.

    The review process is unfair, because even if you have multiple associates in different positions and at different grade levels, the company tells you how many people must fall into each scoring category, and lumps everyone together. For example, if you have ten associates, at four different grade levels, doing six different jobs, you have to lump them all togther, and 2 can get an Exceeds Expectation review, 7 can get a Meets Expectation review, and 1 must get a Needs Improvement review. Upper management can force associates up or down even if the resulting review does not accurately represent the performance of the individual. Many positions have no documented SOPs, and the position descriptions in HR are often outdated, which can make the review process very subjective and potentially unfair as a result.

    There is a very weak coninuous education program, which is pretty good if you work in San Fransisco, but if not, don't even bother. There is no tuition reimbursement at all, so again, if you're not in San Francisco all personal development attained and potentially used to improve the company will come out of pocket.

    The corporate culture is three-pronged, but I will exclude the stores, because they operate differently. In the stores, which are not a part of the three-pronged culture, success and happiness are heavily tied to the store manager and district manager. Get a bad combination, and you're toast.

    Out west, it is catty and poluted with blame. A lot of finger pointing... Yet, the educational opportunities are better, the landscape promotes modern family values over traditional, and there is more opportunity to move around in the company. There are a lot of passive-aggressive people in the west-coast management structure. Regardless, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has a very strong reputation and brand. Corporate, distribution, and IT positions in California can be much more than a stepping stone, they are great educational opportunities at all levels, but the best opportunities are in San Francisco, CA, hands down!

    The east is historically disorganized, but seems to be getting much better. Lately, the growth of West Elm has provided needed attention and resources, which has helped the team become more organized, boosted confidence, and created opportunities for advancement. Actually, the east coast team is quite impressive, in retrospect. You could say that they are the most improved of the three, but still could benefit from greater diversity in ethnicity and gender. It's mostly caucasian females on the east coast. The Brooklyn, NY and Cranbury, NJ facilities are quite nice and it seems expansion is immenent, in both cases. This is a great time to join the team, because they are poised for growth.

    The south, which is moreso distribution oriented, is a racist boys club, where sexist and racist remarks are thrown out constantly, and harassment is commonplace. By the way, Ohio State graduates get preferential treatment. FYI... There is minimal opportunity, lackluster training, and no development. However, the pay is competitive, especially with the generally low southern costs of living. Human Resources is run like a union, and there is no oversight into HR treatment of associates or managers. Anything goes in the deep south, so buckle up, especially if you are a minority, unless you work in HR, of course. Most of the HR managers and generalists are minorities in the south, however the director and VP are a caucasian woman and man, as with all of the directors and VPs in Memphis, TN, who lead operations in Olive Branch, MS, Lakeland, FL, Hickory, NC, etc. The best advice in the south is to stay quite and do exactly what you're told. You'll make descent money and have average work-life balance eight months out of the year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring the company together. Take a closer look at the supply chain, and optimize, optimize, optimize. Bring back tuition reimbursement, and consider more ways to support parents. Get bigger, more broad, and robust IT systems that integrate functions that are currently managed by several systems. Train and develop your associates, regardless of where they work. Offer continuous education to individuals with high-level degrees or certifications, such as: IT professionals, MBAs, CPAs, CFAs, and others. Be a real "People First" company, and stop just talking about it. Give talented people opportunities to do more, grow the company, and expand the brands in new ways and ito new markets. Finally, honor work-life balance. Laura Alber once told a story about having two nannies, but we all don't, nor do we want to. Put pressure on the organization to work more effectively and efficiently, and integrate business intelligence tools and systems that automate some of the menial and manual tasks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    People are nice, culture needs a ton of improvement.

    Current Employee - Production Artist in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Production Artist in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most people are genuinely nice to others. A very exciting place to work.

    Cons

    Lots of power struggling among middle management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management needs to know what worker bees are thinking about, what they need the most not just believe what middle management is saying

There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

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