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Currently reading this article, there is a line,

The increase “isn’t altruism,” Jelinek said at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee. “At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages ... makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us. It helps us in the long run by minimizing turnover and maximizing employee productivity.”

According to a dictionary, there are 3 sales related definitions, which are,

1a(1): the amount received in sales for a stated period

(2): the ratio of sales for a stated period to average inventory

(3): a cycle of purchase, sale, and replacement of a stock of goods

b: the number of persons hired within a period to replace those leaving or dropped from a workforce also : the ratio of this number to the number in the average force maintained

c: movement (as of goods or people) into, through, and out of a place

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  • I think they mean turnover of staff, not products. Basically, they've realised it's better to pay higher wages so the workers don't leave, partly because they don't have to waste so much time on staff training with a more stable workforce. – FumbleFingers Feb 26 at 17:05
  • @FumbleFingers Did you conclude to that definition from the following phrase on the article or as a whole? – Kentaro Feb 26 at 17:08
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    I'm not sure what you mean. The word "turnover" has a number of different meanings - including both product turnover and staff turnover (and to a lesser extent customer turnover, but that's often referred to by its own dedicated metaphoric usage [customer] churn). In the case of your example, I chose between product and staff turnover on the basis of what made most sense in the exact context, if that's what you're asking. – FumbleFingers Feb 26 at 18:29
  • @FumbleFingers Sorry for my poor question. Yes, that's what I was trying to ask, – Kentaro Feb 26 at 18:32
  • If my last comment answered your question, the thing you mostly need to learn about English is that almost all single words (and a great many combinations of words) can have multiple meanings. And sometimes dictionaries will only give a selection of "specific" meanings - other closely-related meanings aren't always explicitly defined. – FumbleFingers Feb 26 at 19:05
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“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages ... makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us. It helps us in the long run by minimizing turnover and maximizing employee productivity.”

The correct definition is "b: the number of persons hired within a period to replace those leaving or dropped from a workforce". I've highlighted the clues that the word is about employees and not products.

If you pay employees good wages, they are less likely to quit, which minimizes turnover. They are also more likely to do good work, which maximizes employee productivity.

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  • Absolutely, and in the UK turnover means Sales, like in Annual Reports. – Lambie Feb 26 at 19:03

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