The client

Kingfisher plc is an international home improvement company with nearly 1,300 stores across 10 countries, with a team of over 78,000 people. They sell DIY and home improvement equipment through their stores and digital channels.

The challenge

Each year Kingfisher plc conduct a staff engagement survey designed to understand how employees feel about their working conditions. Around 80,000 employees are invited to take part, from this group around 50% leave detailed comments about their experience in the free text field, yielding around 40,000 comments in more than 6 different languages including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Russian.

The work involved with reading, understanding, and ordering the data into a common format is no easy task and presents a real challenge for the business.

To gain value from the survey data they must gain an understanding of the comments within the free text fields, enabling them to really understand what colleagues are saying and whether there are commonalities across issues or positives within the group.

The task for DDC Analytic Solutions (DDC AS) was to import the quantitative and qualitative survey responses gathered by Gallup and analyse all 40,000 colleague comments, creating a categorisation framework that worked across the group, regardless of language or operating company.

The analysis was delivered in a way that could be easily understood, on-time and on-budget.

The solution

DDC AS worked alongside Kingfisher PLC to receive their comments data file in December 2016. The planned delivery date for the analysis was January 2017, giving us 3 working weeks to analyse, categorise and deliver the results.

Each operating company was set up with its own project for their local comments as well as having a group project which incorporated all comments across the board.  The main themes were decided as a group to ensure that a clear comparison could be made between each operating company. In many cases sub themes were added for local Operating Companies based on the unique responses from their teams.

Upon loading all comments, we worked closely with a representative from each operating company to categorise each identified theme, using the pre-defined framework.  Where unique, local themes were identified we added those for complete coverage.  The system easily recognises commonality regardless of language which made this project unique in its execution.

The top level of the framework itself was decided upon by the group project team but the detail of this framework (taxonomy) was then further refined and sub-categorised through a process of curation, using the survey data itself to surface themes and issues being raised by employees. In this way, we were able to shed detailed light on what the 40,000+ comments were actually about.

Once the local themes and comments were signed off we were able to seamlessly import all comment themes into one group project for Kingfisher, instantly giving them a view of colleague comments across the group and commonality (or differences) between operating companies.

The Results

In January 2017, less than 4 weeks after receiving the data we were able to deliver a fully categorised theme analysis of 40,000 colleague comments to both local operating companies across Europe, in their native language as well as a rolled-up summary for Kingfisher group.

Alongside the project team, we devised a board level presentation that identified the core successes and challenges across the group and also identified some potential strategic changes for the coming year.  We worked with the local Operating Companies to create similar presentations for their local board.

The benefits

  • Employee Satisfaction - they feel and know their voices are heard. 
  • Accesses the real value/insight in the comments that people leave. 
  • Allows much better performance and issue comparison over time and between demographics, sites/facilities and operating companies. 
  • Overall it turns the cost of conducting a survey into a much better investment by driving value through insight. 


Instead of just a huge file of data, we successfully helped Kingfisher organise their team’s words into sensible and usable insight that will provide ongoing value into 2017. We helped them change a basic cost into a worthwhile investment – without the analysis, these comments would have been almost impossible to understand and act upon.

"Our partner proposed a tool through DDC AS, to analyse the open-question feedback from 70,000 colleagues, in eight languages, into actionable themes and worked with teams across the organisation, through webinars and one-to-one calls to ensure everyone understood how to use the tool and get maximum benefit from the insight." - Donna Reeves, Project Lead, Kingfisher PLC. 


One of the key features of the tool that appealed to me was the fact that the tool is language agnostic, avoiding the need for costly translation and potentially missing the nuances of translated text.  

CONTACT US NOW, If you would like more information on our
OneView offering.