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WHSmith Reviews

Updated 18 October 2017
341 reviews

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2.6
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WHSmith CEO Stephen Clarke
Stephen Clarke
72 Ratings

341 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Staff discount is good for books and stationery (in 13 reviews)

  • Ability at management level to work flexible hours (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • hours a week as a deputy manager on very little pay - which worked out less than minimum wage for the hours (in 21 reviews)

  • Low Pay, not a lot of opportunity for progression (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Sales assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at WHSmith full-time

    Pros

    Good
    Decent pay
    Easy job

    Cons

    Early start
    Not enough workers

    Advice to Management

    More ppl in one shift


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Thrown in the deep end, but friendly colleagues and good job for part time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Assistant
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Assistant
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at WHSmith part-time

    Pros

    Friendly Colleagues
    Standard retail job, but less stressful because customers are mostly quite informed and independent when purchasing
    Same overall tasks but individual tasks vary, with some creative opportunities in shelving

    Cons

    Training only covers the bare minimum, and at the beginning, it can be overwhelming

    Advice to Management

    Provide more training at the beginning than just the basics of the till, and make sure trainees know the store and other things that customers might ask them. Also, make sure someone is always there to help the trainee if need be, with no delay. Behind-the-scenes work can be taught later. Nothing is more stressful or embarrassing than not knowing how to help a customer when approached.


  3. "birmingham airport"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    mangement was bad and so was the team leaders timing and everything was all over the place

    Cons

    pay wage is really awfull


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Oxford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at WHSmith full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good team, nice place to work in

    Cons

    management should be more helpful

    Advice to Management

    more advice, more time spend on the shopfloor, more help for the staff


  6. "Co-workers are nice- managers not so much"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Gatwick, England
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Gatwick, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at WHSmith part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You keep busy during the shift, managers are flexible with your hours if you ever need to change them, discounted staff meal deal. You are trained to a somewhat high standard (by co-workers), always able to pick up extra hours if needed

    Cons

    Managers aren't helpful/nice and don't seem to care about you at all especially if it's busy. Late & unorganised breaks (sometimes as late as hour 6 of an 8 hour shift), don't automatically get your staff discount card. Left alone in the shop for a long time i.e you can't even leave to go to the bathroom, not great pay considering the work load & in comparison to other stores at the airport, pay is usually wrong

    Advice to Management

    Pay under 25's the same/similar wage to overs, they're doing the exact same job.
    Listen to your staff, be more understanding and nicer towards them.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Customer assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at WHSmith part-time

    Pros

    Friendly staff ( some of them) . Easy job.

    Cons

    Bad management. Team leaders are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Hire competent staff. Not just anyone.


  8. "Appalling"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Cheltenham, England
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Cheltenham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Really nice supportive staff, went out together and made good friends with most of them

    Cons

    Poor pay, manager thinks a Saturday job is more important than school/college. Ridiculously unorganised. I did so much overtime and was extremely reliable, handed in my notice after over 2 years and manager didn't speak to me once. Got treated like crap. Don't work here!!

    Advice to Management

    Treat staff better, be more organised and understanding. Care for your staff


  9. "Fair weather employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Market rate salaries for HO positions
    - Free parking on site for HO employees
    - Flexible working hours for most people
    - Dedicated Pensions team
    - The chance to meet celebrity authors at HO signings

    Cons

    - When times are tough, or perceived to be heading that way, WHS will cut staff numbers without a second thought
    - Staff benefits are modest, and subject to cuts
    - WHS are very good at bringing in high profile execs, switching all the chairs around to suit their new stars, then watch them leave as soon as 12 months later
    - Pay levels in the shops and warehouse are low, even at manager level
    - Poor investment in IT. Some of it's retail systems are years out of support, but suppliers are made to patch them and coax them into further lifetime. They then get berated when systems fail
    - The company seems hell bent on outsourcing

    When I worked at the HO in Greenbridge, there seemed to be some wave of redundancy activity in various parts of the business every 3-4 years, sometimes shorter. The worst was when they dispensed with the services of the Payroll dept, which was handled very cold bloodedly. They gave employees minimal notice and reduced a Dept of over 70 people to 2, practically overnight. The survivors were both Dept managers, one of whom stayed with WHS, the other joined the company that replaced the Payroll Dept. That was typical of the callous way WHS regarded it's staff.

    Advice to Management

    Staff are your greatest asset. It doesn't matter if you have HR awards for the way you treat them, getting those boxes ticked is easy. Apply a reality check to the way you look after your people, and if business units have a bad trading year - look at the managers who mismanaged your business, not the people on the shop floor, or the managers who had bright ideas but were ignored.

    Outsourcing - it's a path of diminishing return. Yes, your Purchasing Officer looks good at the start of the project when slicing pounds off of the headline cost. Over time you get less for your money, you lose in house expertise, and when contracts change - service history and know how disappears too.


  10. "Actively trying to get out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Dunstable, England
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Dunstable, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at WHSmith full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Ability at management level to work flexible hours

    Cons

    Poor pay and career progression,

    Advice to Management

    Listen to store level employees and don't dictate ridiculous task which has no bearing on results and that simply stretch our threadbare resource to breaking point. 2% pay rise for the previous 4 years is laughable leaving many in my management team on little more than minimum wage


  11. "sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Haywards Heath, England
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Haywards Heath, England

    I worked at WHSmith part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good working conditions for workers

    Cons

    very rude manager on shop floor

    Advice to Management

    maybe try being a bit nicer


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