The science behind our emergency response templates

What can I learn from this page?

The science behind our emergency response templates 

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins, Survey Admins, Survey Creators


The Culture Amp Emergency Response templates allow your organization to gather the employee feedback you need to effectively navigate and support employees through an emergency or rapidly changing situation.

These templates were originally designed by Culture Amp’s team of People Scientists in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and is openly available for use by both customers and non-customers alike. Its design was informed by research, the collective intelligence of the People Geek community, and our analyses of customer needs throughout the evolving circumstances.

In addition to health crises like a pandemic, situations where the Emergency Response Templates could be useful are:

  • Natural disasters
  • Reputational/public relations crises
  • Financial crises
  • National tragedies
  • Start-ups/shutdowns of major projects

See here an article written by one of Culture Amp’s People Scientists for more information on why it’s important to collect feedback during an emergency or crisis.

We have created several templates to assess your COVID-19 pandemic response, we go into detail on the difference between the surveys and uses cases in this article, but the science behind each of the templates is the same, which we review below. 

Measuring the factors that matter

Unexpected emergencies often pose unprecedented and unique circumstances. However, there are substantial bodies of research that help us to determine what feedback is crucial to collect, understand, and act on during times of emergency and rapid change. As such, much of the science behind our Emergency Response template derives from the science behind Culture Amp’s Change Survey Templates.

To create the Change Surveys, we conducted interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs), HR professionals, executives and senior leaders, and derived insight from sources including:

  • Kotter’s 8-step process for leading change
  • Lewin’s 3-stage model of change
  • Prosci’s ADKAR change management methodology
  • Kubler-Ross’ change curve

Change management models and research demonstrate that factors like Company Confidence, Leadership, Communication, and Enablement are crucial to act on during an emergency, when ways of working, policies, and employee roles and responsibilities are being updated regularly.

Emergencies also create unique circumstances and needs beyond more typical forms of organizational change, and so additional factors of Health & Wellbeing, Support, and Business Continuity were incorporated into the template.

Employee health is the top priority in emergencies like natural disasters and health crises, and companies are paying closer attention to workplace wellbeing now more than ever. In emergencies where employees are required to work remotely or in isolation for extended periods of time, employee wellbeing can be massively impacted. Research shows that even short stints of social isolation can have long-lasting effects on both personal and professional wellbeing. Feedback against these factors will allow your business to see where there may be pockets of employees that need additional support.

The stigmatization of various groups during the COVID-19 Pandemic highlights the importance of capturing Diversity & Inclusion feedback during emergencies, when there is often heightened fear and anxiety. Items were included in the Emergency Response template to understand whether employees feel they have been treated fairly by both the organization and their colleagues, so the company can act to reduce social stigmas that emerge in the workplace during an emergency or crisis.

Ensuring business continuity is also critical for organizations during unexpected emergencies, especially those that offer essential services or goods, and employee feedback is a critical component to determining potential gaps in this continuity.

Our final full survey includes 38 questions and assesses the following distinct factors:

  • Company Confidence
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Policy
  • Business Continuity
  • Enablement
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Support

Feedback That Inspires Action

During times of emergency, where confusion, fear, and even panic may set in, employees will look to their organization to provide reassurance, stability, and guidance around what they should expect at work. In these times, it’s important for companies to move quickly, but all the more important to gather feedback only as quickly as they can act on it.

The questions included in the Emergency Response template are meant to provide useful insight, but are ultimately designed to be actionable by the business, managers, and/or employees themselves.

If you are a Culture Amp customer, you can find more information on how to launch your Emergency Response survey in the Culture Amp platform here.


#TemplateLibrary #QuestionsDesign

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