This job was sold to you as the best job in the world at the interview.
Unfortunately working there was not the dream.
A standard week would include 5 days, every weekend and every bank holiday included. 9-8pm twice a week, 9-6pm most other days. You are so overrun with work most days you stay until 8pm most nights anyway.
The constant changing of policy and protocol is the epitome of unprofessional behaviour. They would role out a new 'idea' without testing in a certain store or at head office, to the whole company. It would ultimately fail, need to be revised so they would send out a daily newsletter explaining to ignore initial 'idea' and to go back to how it originally was.
The management are on a tight leash to do as they're told by higher management. If they disobey they are fired or demoted. The staff turn around is unprecedented. On average a staff member from each store will leave every 3-6 months.
The job itself could be fantastic. Creating your own leads by talking to people and demonstrating the product. Then booking them in for an appointment with yourself and ultimately selling them a kitchen/bedroom. However, the amount of extra work involved makes it impossible to enjoy the journey with your customer of their dream kitchen/bedroom. For example, the designer must:
book the appointment (min 5 p/w) sell the appointment( min£10000 ex vat P/W) ( this is very obtainable) in between you must for each kitchen/bedroom create a room plan to be checked for err
ProsPros...... every now and then, you can make a customer happy.
Consnon flexible hours, no help, constant problems, constant errors, constant changing of protocol
I was fotunate enough to be moderately liked at the showroom. It's fit in or f*** off at Wren. However, there\s no support in the showroom after the training course.
You're given a probation period (not the 2 year one) to give you some 'ease' when it comes to selling appointments (It's a general rule at Wren that you must sell every sit on the first sit, so I've been actually told to "pressure customers into paying").
You will be heavily marked on performance (as if the pressure of the managers revoking your leads or reassigning them and giving them to the top converters doesn't stress you enough). I hit my targets in the first 3 months of working there, ranked somewhat medium but the designer who missed her lower targets every month still kept her job because the manager took a shine to her. So it's performanced based, to be taken into consideration with compatible you are with your manager.
The consideration for staff is non existant. Customer insists they put an oven into an order that they specifically said they wanted an oven in? - Free issue. You pay for it. Out of your pay. I had a £398 free issue off of a he said, she said situation with a customer. How's that for fair?
If you book an appointment with a customer who isn't looking to place a deposit on that day, then you're frowned upon. If you want to spend time on a big project with a customer then you'll always be told to push them along and pay the deposit before making any more changes because it's
I left my previous career for the kitchen designer role at Wren which was advertised at a lot more money than I was previously on.
The interview was very easy and I heard back soon I was successful in my application.
I was expecting from the interview, for the role to be much more focused around delivering exceptional customer service and not purposefully rushing customers and constantly pushing for money without delivering a good service.
The training was short and intense (2 weeks) with the expectations to know everything out of the academy and into your first customer appointment.
The money was awful due to my experience levels, the management who could be bothered to talk to me were only interested in developing me into their own cookie cut mould as well as wanting me to be this larger than life character which they thought would bizarrely be appealing to customers. Very uncomfortable.
The management would go over individual staffs figures in front of the group which I found to be humiliating as I assume they used this as a deterrent to perform better. No praise from management if targets were met, constant torrents of negativity about staff performances. From being new and not knowing the processes, as I was not informed, for many aspects within the role, this caused frequent unnecessary tension between myself and the management.
I used to be forced towards customers who had been approached already by numerous other staff and was quizzed abou
ConsHorrific management. Not a quality product. Many customer complaints.
Hungry, fast-growing company that rewards hard work
Wren is growing at such a fast pace that it is sometimes hard to keep up, especially for a support function like Finance. Never does a minute go by where you sit and wonder what job you'll be doing next, you will always have work on your plate and that fits me perfectly. Some may find it pressuered, but with good time management and organisation, tasks are ticked off quicker and quicker each week as you get used to the processes. There is always help at hand with colleagues and management, even the most senior members of the team need to ask for help sometimes! There is also plenty of ad hoc work to be done - managerial or directoral requests - for me, these tend to be financial analysis of very specific processes within the company that perhaps haven't been reviewed for a while, and management are just wanting a refresh.
The culture within Wren is friendly and unified. The Head Offices are open-plan with the two main offices that both house at least 150 people in each. You can get up and walk over to someone in another department (usually a bank of desks elsewhere in the room) and ask for help/advice, and most of the time they will give you their full attention and as much help as you require. This attitude towards teamwork stems from the very top - the directors (aside from the owner and the MD) sit amongst the rest of the staff and encourage inter-departmental communication. The owner himself is a strong believe in teamwork, exemplified by the 'Clean Water' philosophy v
ProsGood job security, ownership of processes, the company operates as ONE BIG TEAM
ConsSometimes work load requires extra hours or taking a laptop home
Whilst I lived 2 mins from the showroom I was expected to drive over 30 mins away for my first measure and to be there for my start time. Wren use a system where it calculates your day to the minute however it does not factor in any traffic or parking. Some days I would leave a hour before my first job to ensure I would not be late. And the same could be said for the final job. Finishing with a 30 min drive back. You are giving 1 hour to do each measure however they could take from as little as 45mins to 2 hours if you had a hard room plus utility.
Wren don't believe in human error any mistakes you make on a measure and it results in a wrong built cupboard you will have the cost of the unit deducted from your quarterly bonus.
The van is tracked and your hours are expected to be completed in full no leaving early. I was 15 minutes down on a 6 day week and got a warning.
I feel the showroom staff looked down at the surveyors and made a us and them mentality.
You are expected to work all Bank Holidays if you are rota to work. You are supposed to get a day in lieu but after 3 months none have been given back in your allowance.
You work rota where it's 9-630 or 1030-8 and 10-4 Sundays so very difficult to have any personal life.
I had several days where I started at 1030 and a measure at 10.05 however you are expected to still finish at the allocated finish time.
You receive 25 days holiday but every school holiday and all around Bank Holidays are do not book dates so it's
This is a job where no two days are the same, and you can literally go in there with no experience whatsoever and come out the other side knowing how to manage a pipeline of customers and design custom kitchens. For that reason, it was quite a thrill, and getting those sales was always so rewarding. However due to the complexity of the business, there are an infinite amount of pitfalls, and you will have days where people are breathing fire through the phone at you at no fault of your own. Sometimes it can feel a little frustrating, by virtue of selling being the top priority, to know that some of the marketing techniques are overly gimmicky. And that things can go very wrong despite having done your best to design a beautiful kitchen, give a great customer experience, and endeavor to stay in touch until the delivery of the kitchen itself.
Aside from that, the money is there if you want to make it. The KPIs in the place, as much as I'm a numbers guru, are a little much, and sort of blindside management's ability to consistently coach rather than run through figures that unintentionally result in a withdrawal of worker morale. That being said the management was always available for questions, and you WILL have questions!
Another thing to note is that if you are new it may be that you can't use your own rhythm and flow through to the end of an appointment, having to update the management about the situation and sort of losing stride and again, feeling like it's a bit gimmicky
ProsDecent cash, fun to design kitchens, great colleagues
ConsMicromanagement, need to do 10 things in the time it takes to do 5.
A typical day begins with team updates with in-house and external developers in Belarus. We discuss where we all are with developers tasks before focusing on the teams next actions. It's a well, thought out and well structured environment where initiative is encouraged and new ideas are actively embraced. We work in an Agile environment where there is always new strategies and more to learn.
The management are supportive, flexible and encouraging, and hard work is always rewarded.
The work place culture is very friendly, people I don't know pass me and acknowledge me and say hello. Colleagues never hesitate to help each other and there is a maturity in working relationships.
The hardest part of the job is finding time to do everything sometimes but personally I think that's a nice problem to have. I never find myself clock watching or wondering what I should be doing.
The most enjoyable part of the job is that the company are so forward looking. The office is virtually paperless and the focus is on delivering real progress rather than bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy (which I experienced in my last job working for a Local Authority). I love the pace and the challenging environment here. I never lie in bed dreading going to work or feel miserable on a Monday morning.
It is also worth noting that the facilities here are excellent. We have 2 canteens (where pick and mix stir-fry is custom cooked in front of us and there is a salad and sandwich bar) 2 gyms w
Great Company to work for and MONEY making potential HOWEVER difficulties in Life and Job Security.
At first, I joined this role with the promise of making some serious money. Though I am quite new into the role I have not seen any potential for this indication so would not be able to comment on it truthfully. However from what I see in other designers there is some good commission out there. On a typical day you will be chasing or sitting down appointments as well as showcasing the amazing showrooms to customers. The training programme is great however, pay outs in regards to expenses are a bit cheap and below Government recommendation. Workplace is great and the management team are very supportive and involved. The hardest part is spending 2 or 3 hours with a customer and them not closing the deal which means that potential deal may not happen. It is a risk and you can do all factors to cater for this but due to the economic climate we are in people are really frugal and careful before investing especially into some thing so large. However this is also the most enjoyable aspects, the thrill and excitement of a customer as you begin to shape THEIR dream kitchen is truly fun and being the designer and the key aspect between that dream and it becoming a reality is A LOT OF FUN. You really have to possess that appeal of design, creativity and salesmanship.
ProsGreat place to work for with great training provided, High quality product that really sells itself, Management decisions are made relatively fast and align with company goals well, Supportive management and very visible. Especially supportive in performance and sales, Great management characteristics and team dynamic, Huge income opportunities if you are good at sales and managing client expectations well, A lot of material and support in selling the product.
ConsUnsociable hours. YOU ARE REQUIRED to work full weekends, Crazy 3 weeks in a row working from boxing day onwards, Minimum basic salary is ridiculously low and unaffordable to keep up with bills, Earnings are completely based on performance, May be months where you walk away with no extra income, Always end up working more hours than stated, Probation period almost 2 years, Hard to create sales in the first few weeks when joining
Please read this before making any decision to resign from your current position thinking Wren is the next best thing... it’s not.
Genuinely, and I say this from experience, I have never worked in such a negative and disgusting workplace like Wren Kitchens head office.
Training - The training was probably the only decent experience I had during my time with the company... However, don’t let the sunshine and roses fool you from the beginning. Things soon changed when you are assigned to your desks. No support, no communication and simply an extremely unpleasant environment to work in.
Management - The team leaders are not leaderships but instead bullies. A few girls with no leadership experience at all. I actually find it funny that they are lead to believe micromanaging, constant pressure and unsupportive attitudes are the way to motivate and drive workplace moral.
I experienced first hand, ‘team leaders’ discussing sacking a girl who I trained with. So much so, that everybody in the office knew she would be sacked before the girl did herself.
Workload - Unrealistic. The amount of work given as your daily job is achievable however the ridiculous amount of micromanaging emails sent asking you to send back petty spreadsheets with updates every hour is not. I’m not sure why the ‘leaders’ in the office believe that sending constant emails speaking to the staff in a disgusting and demoralising manor is going to get the company anywhere?
Support - It simply wo
I worked as a designer for a year at Wren. I have about 25 years experience designing and selling Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms I can deal with most things.
The Company pays and wants its monies worth from you. To the point you are just a cash machine that they expect more than is Humanly possible. They rely on a back up of staff to replace the worn out soles its the cash they look at.
The showrooms are wonderful the HO is lovely the training will be given by people that have little or no experience working in the retail environment. Its like working for a manufacturer/supplier not a retailer.
I do love this type of work but I did not like competing against the other staff members for a customer there are probably 3 staff members to each customer. It appears they seem to think the more machines they have the more business they will do. Regardless of the problems the money is the target.
There are many stories saying its a family business if that's true its the upper management families that are important not yours or the staff.
After training I was labeled by Wren as unfit to measure rooms on my own even though I have been doing this for over 25 years with very few mistakes (Maybe 1 a year). It felt that they wanted to tell you and not learn with you. There may not be a "I" in Team but they found a "ME"
I have sold my sole and worked every weekend and Bank Holiday for years. Sometimes I worked 14 hour days when it was busy. For me the money was not worth it. Wren lo
ProsDry and Warm pay is OK
ConsCommission is your overtime
Questions and answers about Wren Kitchens
Bonus pay what months do you get them
Asked 28 Sept 2020
Some of our positions are either monthly or quarterly bonused depending on your role. Monthly bonuses are paid in every months pay, and quarterly bonuses are paid at the end of every quarter (although we pay Januarys quarterly bonus in Decembers pay so that you can enjoy Christmas and New Year that little bit more!)
Answered 19 Nov 2021
get a bonus for every lead that we pass over to designer that is converted in to a sale
Answered 22 Jan 2021
How soon did you hear back from them after the interview?
Asked 10 May 2017
On the spot!
Answered 15 Jan 2022
On the day
Answered 9 Oct 2020
How did you feel about telling people you worked at Wren Kitchens?
Asked 12 Oct 2017
Embarrassed. There is this whole made up universe where Wren is wonderful and fantastic. But deep down it’s awful and everyone knows it
Answered 3 Jun 2021
Great , they are a great company
Answered 9 Oct 2020
How should you prepare for an interview at Wren Kitchens?
Asked 23 Feb 2018
Research the company and just be genuine and yourself
Answered 15 Jan 2022
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Let’s look at the steps to preparing for an interview.
Answered 5 Mar 2020
What is the organisational culture at Wren Kitchens?
Asked 10 Jan 2018
Give you no days off
Break you down slowly until you conform to the bullying culture
Answered 3 Jun 2021
At Wren we believe in growing our talent. We will invest in your development and give you opportunities to thrive in your career. Wrens core ethos all revolve around 'PRIDE.'