Davidson recently attended the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management conference in Sydney, as both proud sponsor Employee Experience and dedicated consulting and implementation partner.

If you’ve been living under a rock you might not have heard of experience management. While the concept itself isn’t exactly new, it has well and truly hit the spotlight. If you’re in business, experience management should be on your agenda, otherwise, you are missing out on a world of opportunity.

Here were my key takeaways from the day:

  • Experience Management is not a passing fad – it’s your competitive advantage

If you think about the brands you are most loyal to, is it the product or output that keeps you going back for more? Or is it the emotions you feel, the experience you get?

As Qualtrics CEO, Ryan Smith put it:

You are either intentionally racing to the top through experience management, or unknowingly racing to the bottom.

He connected us to stories of most iconic brands that shifted their focus to experience management and rose to become some of the world’s highest-valued businesses.

However, many organisations fail to understand this - they aren’t collecting and understanding data and aren’t taking action. This was particularly poignant when the following stats flashed on the screen:

“80% of organizations feel like they are providing a great experience, yet only 8% of customers actually agree”

Businesses need to be able to measure the “experience gap” by monitoring critical interactions in their customer or employee journey in order to jump on the opportunities for improvement.

  • Purpose-driven business are still as important as ever, as is inclusivity

These factors matter and are critical to creating ambassadors of your business. More than connecting your team to the “why” of your business, leaders need to be focusing on how you create an environment for employees to bring their whole selves to work.

We heard from the likes of Buzzfeed, who, after some dedicated action, had 89% of their LGBTQ workforce respond favourably to the statement that “I feel I can be my true self at work”.

Bruce Davidson shared his personal journey and commitment to working with Yalari, and how that helped him to become a better business leader.

Then there was Sephora, who recognise that “companies don’t make a difference, people do” through their inclusion initiatives and “other-abled” programs. Now they are putting their money where it counts, by closing 400 stores for one day to undertake inclusion workshops (in response to a racial profiling complaint that went viral from a high profile celebrity).

  • Moving from engagement to experience won’t happen overnight

Qantas and Telstra shared their journey of moving towards more proactive experience management. The messages that resonated most with me was how important it is to take an agile & phased approach, break down the steps into consumable tasks and to level up your accountability.

Specifically, in the employee experience setting – your business is probably not likely to go from an annual survey to a “digital open door” in just a few months. The way to accelerate the transition is to build trust, help your team understand that you value their feedback by showing them through action. And it’s just as important to personalise the EX strategy – look to business that have a great EX measurement strategy in place for inspiration but don’t mirror it if it does not match your business.

  • Move your body – change the way you think

It would be remiss of me not to mention Dr. Dance, Dr. Peter Lovatt, arguably the most memorable experience of the conference, dancing in synchronicity with 2000 strangers (now close personal friends). I feel like I can hear the collective internal screaming of all the introverts across the nation whose leaders have taken this dance routine back to their daily huddles!

Fun aside, you couldn’t help but connect with the science behind how moving your body helps you change the way you think and how you solve problems.

I would not do justice to his personal story, research or impact on Parkinson’s disease, so please check out his page. (and check out our dance moves)

  • The time to do something is now

Closing off the day was fan favourite, Dom Price, Work Futurist at Atlassian. As we were feverishly writing down every bit of wisdom we could, Dom hit us with a truth bomb:

The world is suffering from knowledge obesity

Referring to the fact that we are consuming too much knowledge and not doing anything with it. Needless to say, we were writing our notes much more discreetly after this.

How many of us have piles of business, health, wellbeing books at home that we read in one sitting, then jump to the next one, hoping that by ingesting the content alone we will automatically make an impactful change? *puts a hand up slyly*

Dom hit home when he told us that “dysfunction is the gap between what you know and what you apply” and asked us to reflect on what that was in our business. Now, this isn’t to say that we stop learning and listening - but we should be questioning how we are applying our knowledge to make our business and ourselves better?

His final message?

Hit pause on acquiring knowledge and just do something, there is no better time than now.


If you are inspired to take action on experience management in your business but you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at the Qualtrics content or reach out to me for more information!


Katie Hamilton is Senior Consultant with Davidson HR Consulting- Client Solutions. 

You can connect with Katie T. 07 3023 1053 M.0421 866 272 or via email:  Katie.Hamilton@davidsonwp.com