At Polarising we have two major meetings along the year: Kick-off and Checkpoint. The Kick-off happens every January and is intended to present the company’s goals for the new year. But it’s Checkpoint that has that cosy rentrée mood.
Not just because it happens after most of us return from summer holidays, in September. But mainly seeing as the time to look back and evaluate how the year’s going and what can we still do, personally and as a team, before it ends.
This meeting responds to some major organizational and management questions, like:
- How did the year context impact us?
- How’s the revenue numbers?
- What about our clients and main business areas?
- Was there any significant restructure and what changes has it brought?
- What’s our focus until December to reach or to consolidate our goals?
Topics in this article
The history behind the Checkpoint meeting.
This review meeting was not always called this way. The first reunion dates to a dinner in 2012 with 24 people, an informal gathering just to mark the return to work after vacation. Then, in 2016 there was a Fall event early October where our CEO did a speech followed by a fun activity that ended with dinner. This time, Polarising had already around 90 collaborators.
It was in 2017 that we decided to call it Checkpoint: it goes back to Polarising origins as TIBCO experts. The name stands for a task that is placed in the middle of a flow to save the state of the process, allowing to start over without having to go back to the beginning or do the task all over again.
Marisa Aleixo, Polarising’s Head of HR recalls:
“Once a year (at kick-off) wasn’t enough. We started feeling the need to reunite everyone and provide relevant information about how we preview the year will end. Of course, without forgetting the fun side that is part of Polarising’s DNA.”
Checkpoint Meeting 2017
Checkpoint before the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the company growing so much in these past few years, Checkpoint has become an even more important event. Especially for those who join the company between February and September, as it is their first formal contact with the organization and a great opportunity to meet many colleagues.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic we used to get together at Polarising’s headquarters in Lisbon, also to enjoy a Happy Hour and celebrate the end of the summer. The CEO’s presentation was broadcasted live on Teams since many of our consultants were already working remotely or living in other countries and parts of Portugal.
Polarising’s 2019 Checkpoint.
Checkpoint after the pandemic.
In the face of such an unexpected context last year, Polarising had to reinvent the Checkpoint meeting according to the pandemic rules. Instead of having a party at the office, only the management team was at the office and everyone else joined through Microsoft Teams. Even to drink and dance and hang out!
“The pandemic brought many challenges to organizations. People needed to be reassured and have a real perspective on how the company was doing and how it would impact them, also individually.” (Marisa Aleixo, Head of HR).
And since we couldn’t have our usual Happy Hour in the terrace, Polarising sent a special kit to everyone’s homes with a clear message: “We celebrate together”. It was the first kit that Polarising sent in regular basis, and it wouldn’t be the last…
Checkpoint is also a celebration.
The Checkpoint meeting is an opportunity to see people that you don’t usually see. For many who were already living out of Lisbon or are from abroad nothing changed that much, since it was always broadcasted live.
But for others, Checkpoint is that special occasion that you take the opportunity to go to the office and be with colleagues from other project teams and areas. This was quite a change that made us reinvent our traditions having always in mind to create memorable moments.
One more year is ending, and Polarising is getting things done. And we had the chance to toast together, like we always do. And this time all of us got a nice gin & tonic kit at home:
“(…) This celebration kit helps to minimize the distance; not the same thing as being at the office celebrating, but it makes us feel unique and a part of something greater.” (Elisabete Silva, TIBCO and ETL Developer).
We are so ready to keep on giving our best until the end of the year. And we hope to be really together again really soon, in 2022’s kick-off!