As we scale - strong core values are key to our success

As we scale - strong core values are key to our success

Posted by: Courtney Suhr

At PassFort, our vision is to solve trust for the digital economy by enabling people and businesses to establish relationships online.

Our vision reiterates why we do what we do, and our mission, what we’re doing to reach our goal. We defined and established these early in our journey to support the growth of a strong, aligned culture.

However, strong core values help define how we behave to get there. Without these, keeping a strong culture as we scale would be difficult.

Values are important to everyone. You may not recognise it, but you’re influenced by your values in your daily life, and they help guide your decision making in everything you do - from how you communicate with other team members, or deal with a setback, or what’s going to motivate you in a role. They’re not just fluffy statements on the intranet, or sitting only with the founders of the company - they are at the core of everyone involved.

At PassFort, we continue to integrate our values in everything we do as a business, to inform more and more of our decisions, and to find the best people to help us scale. We use our values at all stages of the employee lifecycle - in recruiting the right people, how we recognise, promote and reward, how we manage performance and ultimately, (if we need to), fire. Our values sit at the heart of our culture.

So, it’s pretty clear why values are important to us (and really should be to all businesses).

But, how did we define them?

Well, we knew that values weren’t something to be dictated - you can’t push people to live certain values, you need to look at the values that live in people!

Anouk Agussol from Unleashed.Company ran focus groups with our founders, then with the team. The aim was to ‘personify’ PassFort - ie: if PassFort was a person how would you describe it? We also looked closely at “what PassFort isn’t?”, which provided information that was just as valuable. And describe it they did! All in all we ended up with a whopping 155 words on sticky notes.

We reviewed the descriptors and grouped them into themes. It wasn’t something to be rushed - over the course of a couple of weeks we toed and froed, involved the team in discussions, moved sticky notes around and tested them. It became very clear that the majority of the words sat under three overarching themes.

In using these themes to define our values, there were 2 things that were critical to us about the outcome:

  1. We didn’t want catchy phrases, or words that fit an acronym - it didn’t matter if the words were commonly used, they just needed to matter and be core to us
  2. They needed to represent us a business; not only internally but also as what we stood for from an external perspective - they needed to align with our vision and our mission, closely.

We ended up with 3 values that are most core to our team as a whole - and the team know them - as they are part of them.


Trust is at the heart of all we do. We break new ground by being open and by challenging each other. Complete dependability across the team means we can deliver the future we want to see.

Trust defines our company vision, and we’re not surprised to see that it’s mirrored across our team both in how we work together, and how you can expect us to work with you. We're not led by egos - we approach things as a team. We’ll communicate openly and honestly with each other, and respectfully challenge when necessary (and be open to challenge in return!). In a digital world, with fast evolving technology and customer expectations, it’s open collaborative working and sharing of new ideas that allows us to be ground-breaking.

This feeds into our relationships with customers - trust is the value that defines our reputation. We deliver what we promise, and we'll only promise what we can deliver. We're not going to blame others when something goes wrong, and we’ll do the right thing rather than focus on short term wins. That’s how we build for the future.


See a problem, fix it. Action is the way we effect change. We empower people to speak up and do the right thing even when no-one is watching.

Empowerment doesn’t exist without trust. We’re empowered to be autonomous and take ownership of our work. We’re equipped with the right knowledge and tools to drive our initiatives forward in line with our business goals, make impactful decisions, and use our voice when needed. We are driven and motivated because of it.


We support all opportunities to learn and reflect. Our shared desire for candid feedback enables us to become the best versions of ourselves - building a better product and company.

Supporting all opportunities for growth means that we’re willing to take risks, try new things, and we’re comfortable with making mistakes - they are the best way to learn. We see setbacks as just a step on the road to success, they’re all opportunities to reflect, learn, and take new knowledge moving forward. We use moonshots to encourage stretch and challenge, and we think big to solve problems. If growth is fuelling our business, we’re constantly evolving - as a business, product and team, to meet the challenges of the future.


Sound like a good fit?

Our values are defined, communicated and now we continue to integrate them into everything we do as a business. We see our values as crucial to helping us scale in the best way - through and with our people.

If this sounds like a good fit - we’d love to hear from you! Check out our careers page for current openings.


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