If You Have to Cry, Stay Inside and Smile for the Camera
In her famous book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, Kelly Cutrone attempts to teach her readers how to be strong in tough situations.
On News Corp.'s (NASDAQ: NWS) new reality show, Does Someone Have to Go?, participants are taught similar lessons -- with tears and heated arguments sprinkled in between.
"It was a lot of drama, it was a lot of crying, but we work better together now," Farren Mataele, CEO of DFX Sports and Fitness, told Benzinga. "Sometimes you have to go through a really hard time with everybody to really pull through as a family and work better together. Everybody's slate got clean of, maybe, all the evil eye looks or calling people names. It's all out in the open now so everybody knows about it, there's no more secretive stuff."
When asked how her employees behaved after the show was taped (DFX appears on Does Someone Have to Go? Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. EDT on Fox), Mataele said that her employees wanted to take a day off.
"It was a really stressful weekend -- a lot of hours, not much sleep," she said. "Come Monday morning, everyone was kind of awkward. They didn't know how to act. That was a given."
It took about a week or two before everything got back to normal.
"I think we went home early on Monday [after the show] just because everyone was emotionally drained," she said. "It took about a week or two for everything to get back to normal without having any ill feelings and being able to function properly."
One of the big selling points of Does Someone Have to Go? is that it reveals how much money each employee is making. But while that may cause problems in other firms, Mataele said that it was not a primary issue at DFX.
"That's the first reaction you think you're gonna hear from everybody," said Mataele. "'I've been here for eight years, how come I'm getting paid less than this guy?' No one brought that up as far as their seniority over another person and getting paid more."
Even so, Mataele said that she took the initiative to review every employee and gave many of them raises. She also gave them a future goal that, if achieved, will result in another raise.
"I do believe that the employees were underpaid and it was not in my control at the time, and now it is," she said. "I believe you get what you pay for, and a lot of my employees perform above and beyond what they are paid."
While the preview may be a tad extreme, Mataele is not worried about how it might influence future employees. In fact, she'd prefer that potential candidates view the show before applying.
"If people did see the show and see how we really are, that's what I'd prefer," she said. "I don't like to give anybody the wrong idea of what type of business we are. We are a family-owned business, and from time to time it does get chaotic.
"I don't want to waste my time training, and I don't want to waste the employee's time thinking it's something that it's not. So I'd prefer for them to see the video before they work here."
Going forward, Mataele said that she plans to be more selective about who she hires.
"But I really have to say, after the show, I'm really happy with my employees now," she said. "I feel like they're really happy with their positions. I don't plan on hiring anyone anytime soon."
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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