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Start- Ups and HR: Choose a Little Pain Now or a Lot Later

By Jessica W. Catlow

Of the many pleasures of working with start-up companies, their boundless creativity and resistance to traversing roads already traveled are at the top. As outside counsel, however, we are often in the position of having to be the “Debbie Downers” and urging start-ups, once they become larger, to adopt certain, more “formalized” or “institutional” approaches to employment issues, such as performance management and training.  The resistance is nearly universal:  we often hear “that’s too corporate” or it will “change our culture”, or words to that effect.  A recent article posted on Reuters does a great job of highlighting the risks associated with a no-rules environment.

We believe our clients can preserve their culture even when adopting a more formalized or institutional approach to employment related matters.  And remember- an ounce of “corporate” prevention is always better than the pound of cure in the form of higher legal fees when disputes arise.

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Martha Zackin