As a values-based business, we rely on our associates to lead and make an impact every day. We cannot succeed without them—from the people working in our stores, to our corporate offices, to our factory floors. Our mission is to enhance the quality of people’s lives at home, and we apply that approach to our own family of brands. We’re focused on creating meaningful connections between brands, teams and those we serve, and we’re grateful for associates who put people at the center of everything they do.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s company-wide mantra “People First” implies exactly that. We are a results-oriented team made up of more than 21,000 of the most talented retail associates around the globe, and we respect all individuals for their unique contributions.

We conduct an annual Associate Opinion Survey to directly engage and collect feedback from our associates, which we then use to improve the experience of our teams. Our human resources department maintains an open-door policy for associates to report concerns, and we provide an anonymous reporting hotline, available in multiple languages and managed by an independent company not affiliated with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. We strive to deliver a workplace experience where the quality of our engagement with fellow associates, business partners and customers matches the quality of the products and services we bring to the marketplace. A common set of beliefs guide the way we do business:

Focus on the Customer

Our customer is at the center of everything we do. Our business success hinges on our ability to anticipate and meet the needs of our customers around the world by offering high-quality products and world-class customer service.

Driven to Win

We pursue our goals with a purpose and a sense of urgency, and we are accountable to our teams and ourselves for delivering superior results. Don’t let our casual style fool you. We mean business.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Our constant curiosity around providing solutions for our customers’ evolving lifestyles, improving on our great ideas and developing more efficient ways of working drives us to take calculated risks and launch new ideas that benefit our business and our stakeholders.

Inclusiveness

We firmly believe that workplace diversity and a culture of inclusion help to spur innovation, create healthy and high-performing teams, and deliver a retail experience that will continue to surprise and delight our customers. We honor and invest in the diversity of people, thought, experience, culture and style in the hiring, recruiting and development of associates across all company functions.

Celebrate Success

We take pride in our associates and the success they strive for every day. Whether celebrating service anniversaries, honoring heroic customer service or recognizing extraordinary achievements, the dedication and outstanding results of our associates are rewarded and acknowledged through a variety of programs at every level of the organization.

Continuous Improvement

Our goal is to build the strongest team in retail, which means we are consistently up-skilling associates throughout the organization. We offer hundreds of learning and development opportunities through our Talent Development department, mentorships, cross-brand assignments and other programs that build critical business skills, transform knowledge into action and shape our associates’ career paths.

Employee Benefits

Our corporate vision—to enhance our customers’ quality of life at home—extends to the lives of our associates. To that end, we offer a benefits package designed to put our associates health and well-being, and that of their families, at the forefront. Depending on position and location, associates may be eligible for:

  • 401(k) plan and other investment opportunities
  • Paid vacations, holidays and other time-off programs
  • Health, dental and vision insurance
  • Health and dependent care tax-free spending accounts 
  • Medical, family and bereavement leave
  • Maternity/primary caregiver benefits
  • Mothers’ rooms and onsite showers
  • Transgender-inclusive services
  • Tax-free commuter benefits
  • Bike-share program
  • Company-sponsored walks and runs
  • Wellness program including healthy, organic food options and on-site farmers markets
  • Time off to volunteer and matching donations to qualifying nonprofit organizations

Moreover, our company benefits align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion by offering benefits for those who are members of the LGBTI community. WSI has expanded our benefit offerings to include coverage for Transgender-inclusive services, including gender confirmation surgery and hormone therapy. We also offer a Maternity/Primary Caregiver benefit to provide our associates who have either given birth to a child or have been placed with a child through adoption or surrogacy with six weeks of paid leave.

Gender Equality

We welcome all, and our business reflects our commitment to equality. We are proud that more than 50% of senior leadership across our enterprise is female. Learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives here. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is committed to an ongoing process of developing new and additional company-wide initiatives to benefit our associates, and we review and report on our progress to our stakeholders on an annual basis.

Training & Advancement Opportunities

We give our associates the tools to succeed, learn new skills and develop their careers. By working with people to create the career they envision for themselves, we retain talent. Learn more about career development and the multiple ways WSI invests in employees here. Associate training includes learning our company’s core values. When they join our team, associates learn how their everyday actions make an impact, including:

Being Advocates for Diversity & Inclusion

Associates are expected to treat everyone with respect while learning about other cultures and traditions. Associate groups include an LGBTQ+ Alliance, African American Network, and Veteran’s Appreciation Network. Ambassadors of these programs are instrumental in organizing celebrations for Diwali, Pride and Veteran’s Day, as well as annual company-wide volunteering for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Saving Energy & Reducing Carbon Emissions

Small actions—like turning off lights and computers, and closing doors to keep heat and cool air in—help us meet our energy use goals. Stores, distribution centers and corporate offices have also installed energy-efficient LED lighting, sparking millions of dollars in energy savings across Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Etsy Popup at West Elm. Image: West Elm for Etsy.

Reducing, Reusing, Recycling

Associates are encouraged to print with care and reuse boxes and bags. We engage associates across our brands on composting and recycling, as we strive to meet our goal of 75% landfill diversion by 2021. Associate efforts have contributed to millions of dollars earned from recycling rebates.

Supporting Responsible Materials & Products

Associates learn and share information about Organic, Responsibly Sourced, Handcrafted, Local, Fair Trade and Certified Nontoxic products. Their actions are helping us meet our goals of 50% responsibly sourced wood and 100% responsibly sourced cotton across brands by 2021.

Sustainable Soho Loft by West Elm’s Dumbo Design Crew. Image: West Elm.

Designing for People & the Planet

Each of our brands creates beautiful, high-quality products designed to last for generations. Thanks to our teams, WSI has consistently been named one of the Top 10 companies worldwide using preferred fiber and responsibly sourced wood, according to the Textile Exchange and Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Leading the Industry in Supply Chain Development

As part of the employee onboarding process, associates learn about our goal to reach 100,000+ workers by 2020 through education and empowerment partnerships with HERproject, Fair Trade, and Nest. We’re proud to be the first home retailer to offer Fair Trade Certified™ products, and the first retailer to adopt Nest’s Ethical Handcraft Program.

Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Image: Pottery Barn.

Joining a Community Cause

Each year, we provide eight hours of paid Community Involvement Time. Associates choose where to devote their time, with efforts ranging from school renovations to habitat restoration. Teams are also encouraged to organize events and donate to causes they care about. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. matches them every step of the way—since 2012, we have donated over $63 million in corporate, customer and associate donations.

Career Development

More than just a job, working with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. provides the opportunity to acquire career and life skills that hold real value in today’s global economy. Development opportunities include in-person and online learning through WSI University, our associate training program, as well as professional development courses via LearnIt and computer training courses via AcademyX. 

Store associates engage in both onboarding and on-the-job training, as well as coaching in company-wide programs such as landfill diversion, responsible materials and finishes, and unconscious bias education for managers. 

Other programs develop talent and supply associates with new skills, such as the cross-brand Design Crew at Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams Sonoma and Rejuvenation. Design Crew associates undergo training in design essentials and room planning, developing valuable expertise while providing an accessible resource to customers. 

This focus on education extends from our corporate offices and stores to our supply chain. In partnership with Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) HERproject, we have provided 63,000 workers to date across our supply chain with workplace-based training programs on family health, financial inclusion and gender equality. We will continue these programs as part of our goal to educate and empower 100,000 workers by 2020.

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