Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From the Rockies to the Blue Ridge: New Director of Payroll Services at UVA

Paul Grisdale has been very busy since joining the UVAFinance Team as Director of Payroll Services on September 25th. During his first week on board, he has spent much of his time meeting people and learning more about his stakeholders and their unique needs as the University and the Health System take up payroll as a shared process.

In his new role, Grisdale will lead the ONE Payroll Services Team, which will encompass UVA’s academic division, the medical center, and the physicians group.

Grisdale, a Detroit-area native, comes to UVA from Colorado, where he managed payroll in both the Community College System and Colorado State University. 

Paul Grisdale,
Director of Payroll Services
He is no stranger to massive organizational change.

“Most of my career has been implementing new systems and coming up with best practices,” he said.

Grisdale has led many projects involving the streamlining of processes and collaborative, centralized work. When he looks back at his career so far, he’s most proud of times he’s been able to help build things that didn’t exist before – for instance, a central payroll office for Community Colleges of Colorado.

The office he established delivered great service to all 14 entities in the system and leveraged technology to give employees access to things they’d never had before, such as reporting.

Complicating this particular change was the fact that those 14 schools in the Community College system had very different cultures: some were in little farming towns, and some were in urban areas. Grisdale found that any work he could do that helped him to understand those cultural differences and individual needs was very worthwhile, and he’s been applying that principle to his new role at UVA.

“I’ve made it a priority to be out and about, learning what each area is doing now and who their audiences are, and finding out what the needs are,” he said.

Grisdale was attracted to UVA because he saw a unique opportunity to use what he’s learned about organization-wide change, working on teams, and delivering great customer service: “UVA is a world-renowned University, seeking to provide an equally great payroll and HR service. I want to be part of that.”
He added that it’s exciting to get to leverage not only new technology but also the knowledge of experts in the three different areas at UVA, to find better ways to deliver payroll to all employees.

Grisdale will soon be joined in Virginia by his wife Rebecca and their three children, all of whom are excited about their new home. He acknowledges that it’s quite a change. “Colorado is beautiful, but in Colorado, you can drive for hours and you’re still most likely in Colorado. Here, there’s so much to see, and so many interesting things to do,” he said.

An avid fly fisherman, Grisdale said he looks forward to exploring what that hobby is like in his new home.

Amidst all the change that has been a part of his professional life, Grisdale says one thing has remained true: “I have had great teams in all of my endeavors, and we have that at UVA, too. There’s always ups and downs, but with a great team, you can achieve so much.”

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