Waterstone's Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Waterstone's Reviews

Updated 8 May 2018
165 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.7
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Waterstone's Managing Director James Daunt
James Daunt
75 Ratings

165 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • It also allowed me to get a load of new books with my staff discount (in 28 reviews)

  • Working with books, in a lovely atmosphere with lovely colleagues (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Many stores have only one member of staff for most of the day (in 18 reviews)

  • Minimum wage for lots of responsibilities (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great working experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Really friendly staff
    Interesting conversations with customers
    Good working environment
    Staff discount

    Cons

    Confusion with when staff were working on the rota


  2. "Nice interim work"

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

    I have been working at Waterstone's full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great employee discount if you are a book person (and why wouldn't you be?).
    Book people are some of the most interesting to work with.

    Cons

    A lot of time on feet lifting heavy heavy crates
    not a lot of scope to move upwards

    Advice to Management

    A few more perks would make a lot of difference.

  3. "Bookseller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great staff discounts on everything

    Cons

    was a bit tedious when nothing to do at times/a lot of time walking around not doing an awful lot


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Improvements in recent years, still room for more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller
    Current Employee - Bookseller
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Waterstone's part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -when I returned to the company late 2017 after being away at uni for three years, things had definitely improved: we no longer seem to oscillate between super overstaffed and wildly understaffed, communication from management has improved
    -as mentioned below, a con is that I deal with harassment from certain customers. However, my manager's response has been fantastic in these situations. Very supportive, communicative of the process in dealing with these issues, and clear that this behaviour from customers is never tolerated.

    Cons

    -very high standards expected in a way that's not reflected in the pay
    -still understaffed: hard to maintain standards AND only one person can take their lunch at a time, meaning someone usually has to take their lunch at 3, despite starting their shift at 9.45
    -for a company built on the backs of its booksellers, who do an incredible job, there is a sense of not really being prized beyond the rhetoric
    -as a young woman, many older male customers seem to think it their right to sexually harass me and be generally unpleasant. not unique to Waterstones, and as mentioned above my manager's response has been fantastic in these incidents. Another con in this respect though is that I think the company policy on sexual harassment leaves a huge amount of discretion/ judgement on how to deal with these incidents up to the manager; I have been lucky, but there is a lack of a safety net .
    Shift work is irregular, and especially hard to plan around as a part-time employee when shifts can vary wildly.

    Advice to Management

    Communication! This does not mean a return to over-management by Head Office but a more consistent structure for disseminating important information through the Company- the recent controversy over pay rises could have been largely avoided with a bit more communication. Without this, booksellers further down the chain are more and more likely to feel disrespected and undervalued.
    Tighten the policy on sexual harassment, even make it a public statement. In my experience the main problem has been customers, particularly men of an older generation, who do not know where the line is. As a company that prides itself on its intelligence and valuing its booksellers, it would make sense for Waterstones to lead the way in publicly setting the tone on these issues.


  5. "book dreamer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Waterstone's full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    surrounded by books is incredible and customers are fantastic. people's mindset is entirely different to any other retail job. if you read books, you will spend your whole salary on new books but also get plenty from publishers :)

    Cons

    management on the middle level has no vision and no people skills. managing director comes across reserved and cold, but he is actually very knowledgeable and he truly knows how to lead with an innovative plan. somehow that does not seep through to the middle management and therefore new sets of rules that make no sense are created and you have to follow them with disregard to the mission statement. sad.
    pay is minimal. you definitely do not do it for the money. you do it for the reading passion.

    Advice to Management

    appreciate people's skills, knowledge and greatness. by giving someone a task without first learning what they are actually good at, you are creating a robot. Both the bookseller and the company loses the potential that can grow.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great people but chaotic and disorganised"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Waterstone's full-time

    Pros

    Some of the people who work there are really nice.

    Some great freebies.

    Good office and location. Very near transport links

    Cons

    Project briefs are pretty non-existent. The management doesn't know what they are doing and what the aim of things are.

    No consistent brand / visual identity. The new shops are all opening up with different logos etc.

    The shop staff get paid rubbish money.

    Hard to get copy and assets for work.

    Advice to Management

    The head office is a friendly environment, however, nothing is briefed in properly people don't know what the aim of things are and everything is left until last minute.

    It was hard to obtain assets and copy that was needed for my job. Too many people make excuses for not working.


  7. "Fun but hard work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Milton Keynes, England

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Love being around books, great colleagues generally as they all love books, discount

    Cons

    Far too few colleagues in store, weekend work - more than should be at us times due to lack of staff, crap wages

    Advice to Management

    Pay decent wages for knowledgable staff

  8. "Really good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Barista in Oxford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Waterstone's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    50% off
    Lovely people to work with
    Manager really nice, helpful and informative

    Cons

    Can get extremely busy
    Generally customers aren't nice

    Advice to Management

    non


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Just Don't Bother"

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

    I have been working at Waterstone's part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    50% Discount
    I can't think of anything else

    Cons

    Pay
    Management
    Work Ethic - Being told I couldn't leave my shift when my 1 year old was admitted into hospital was a personal high - I did leave.

    Advice to Management

    Just stop what you're doing and really look at how you are managing the company and your booksellers.
    I adore my job, the customer and books. In seven years I have worked extra hours gone above and beyond for my customers and company. I won't be doing this anymore, the stupidly low pay and lack of respect is laughable, I've had enough. I am actively looking for a new job.
    If you love books- Don't work for Waterstones. Find anything else.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Sly... very, very sly"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Staff Discount was the only upside

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    Sly management, usually the branch managers you find loitering about the shop floor barking orders. Some of them are in need of a mental health check up.

    Healthy and safety is out the window especially in smaller shops

    Books too expensive for the area they are in.

    Senior booksellers with zero enthusiasm stay in the job while new blood with more get up and go are fired before they can join the pension plan.

    Advice to Management

    Respect people. Don’t build them up to knock them down. You’re selling books not performing brain surgery


Showing 165 of 182 reviews
Reset Filters