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IELTS essay, topic: What is the best motivation for workers – salary, job satisfaction or helping others?

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 3 Academic book, Practice Test 15

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

There are many things that can motivate people to perform well in their work. These can include the salary, job satisfaction or the chance to help others. What do you feel is the best motivation to do well at work?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

To perform well in a job, people have to be motivated. There are multiple strategies for employers to incentivise their employees. The most obvious one is the salary; however, job satisfaction and the ability to help people are other methods of improving performance at work.

For the majority of the people, receiving their salary at the end of the month is their motivation. This is because money is necessary to fulfill the most basic needs and other materialistic desires. Employees see these opportunities when receiving their salary and therefore work to achieve money. Furthermore, performing well in a job can often lead to promotions with higher pay packages. To receive this, staff have to stand out positively in their jobs. Salary is therefore a key motivational tool for many workforce participants.

However, money is far from being the only incentive. Another aspect affecting performance is job satisfaction. If a person is comfortable in their work, they are more likely to perform well. Therefore this motivational tool interlinks with salary, as when people are content and perform well, the chances of promotion increase. For some individuals though, only their passion can drive them. Prime examples for this are humanitarian jobs. The salaries are often not very high, but those choosing to work in this field are often very driven; their passion to help others is prioritised over their own salary.

In conclusion, while income might be the most common motivational factor, it is unusual to be the sole incentive for working hard, and some people are motivated wholly due to other reasons.

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