What support could an employer give to an employee who has been unsuccessful in an application for a promotion?

The employer should support the unsuccessful internal candidate to ensure that he or she remains motivated and develops so that he or she has a better chance of progressing in the future. The employer should give the employee feedback as soon as possible after the process so that the employee does not dwell on the failure. It should give the employee constructive criticism enabling the employee to take practical action to address his or her weaknesses. This should include an actionable development plan to address the areas that were identified as requiring improvement during the assessment process. Subject to the employee's approval, the employee's line manager could work with him or her to build the development plan, with support from HR. This could include ways of stretching the employee in his or her current role.