Where that is accomplished, formal disciplinary and termination policies do protect organizations against wrongful termination liability. In principle, the worst possible scenario is where such policies exist but without sufficient training to assure that they are not violated when they apply.
Succession Planning Programs
In my opinion, effective succession planning must be a continual and ongoing process if it is to have the desired results and achieve its desired objectives. While it is important to conduct annual reviews of the succession plans themselves, such infrequent employee reviews may lead to a cursory process instead of a more genuine process. More importantly, as you point out, all employees must believe that they are eligible for fair career development opportunities through fundamentally objective evaluation processes and procedures.
Where employees begin to feel that only members of a preferred “club” are genuinely eligible for advancement, the organization may lose much of the motivational value of succession planning.
Generally, succession planning serves two principal purposes: first, it enables the organization to actively cultivate employees who are committed to their own professional development within the organization; second, it provides a systematic method for identifying and promoting the best qualified employees. However, much like other business management processes, succession planning is only useful to the extent that it is well designed and properly implemented by individuals who genuinely understand its principles and mechanisms. Otherwise, succession planning can be used insufficiently or misused in ways that undermine it purpose and the possible benefits it can provide..