Employees must have confidence in the overall mediation process for it to be successful. Hiring an external mediator can increase the likelihood of a successful resolution for the following reasons:

Non-Biased. An external mediator is guaranteed to be impartial. The perception of neutrality and objectivity is frequently a crucial factor in the eyes of the disputing parties. Even in large organisations, there is a risk that the mediator, no matter how well trained and well intentioned, will bring their own preconceptions about the parties into the mediation process.

Confidentiality can be better assured with an external mediator. It is in the mediator’s interests to behave with the utmost integrity – their professional reputation relies upon it.

An internally run mediation can never completely assure, or maintain, a strong perception of confidentiality due to the dual role of the mediator as both facilitator and fellow employee. The parties will always be aware of this and will have to deal with this shared knowledge whenever they are working together, potentially impacting the effectiveness of the process and complicating future working relationships.

Skills. Complex disputes require extensive experience and specialist knowledge to settle effectively.  An internal mediator, with basic training and with limited experience, may not have the skills to adequately deal with more serious disputes. This may result in a less effective resolution and may impact on employee perception of the organisation’s ability to resolve disputes adequately.