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'How Do I Offer Suggestions to My Company in an Exit Interview?'

“I’m leaving my job and have an exit interview coming up. The company wasn’t nearly as family-friendly as advertised, and I want to offer suggestions for improvement—would that be appropriate?”

Before you bring up your beef, ask yourself why you want to give feedback during the meeting, says career transition coach Jane Scudder. “The answer to this could include anything from helping specific colleagues to helping other women whom you don’t know but who might be in a similar situation to simply wanting to vent and express how bad their policies were for you,” she says. You shouldn’t use the exit interview as a personal kvetching session, but if you truly want to improve the company for other parents, confess your concerns.

To do it professionally, “share specific examples or patterns, and highlight how this would improve things for associates as well as the organization over-all,” Scudder says. Provide substantive solutions, and avoid calling out any co-workers.

When you suggest those solutions, bring up how family-friendly policies have boosted employee retention and talent acquisition at other companies. If one of the main reasons you’re leaving is to work in a family-friendlier environment, then mention this to drive home your point.

“Be honest and constructive, but deliver your thoughts with a smile and appreciation for your time at the company,” says Addie Swartz, the CEO of reacHIRE, an organization that assists women returning to the workforce. “You never know where your career path might lead, and you always want to leave the door open to return.”

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