The Hover Boss

Nobody enjoys someone else hovering over their every move. We like to be in charge and feel as though we are trusted to do the job we were hired for. It’s not an encouraging feeling when your boss comes to your rescue at any sign of struggle or uncertainty—it makes you feel incapable and that they don’t believe you can pull through. So, please don’t be the hover boss, trust your employees.

Dear Hover Boss, 

We want to help you trust your employees and build them up in a way that encourages and stretches their capabilities beyond what both of you could imagine. We want your employees to step confidently on the workforce field and know that they are able to follow through with job ahead of them and not worry that they constantly need a follow up from to make sure their project or task is up to par.

Sometimes when managers constantly feel the need to step in and rescue their employees, it sends a message of “you’re not good enough,” “you can’t complete this on your own,” and “you are failing.” With the constant need to watch over everything your employees do, you’ve categorized yourself as a definite micromanager—it’s a dreaded term, and rightly so.

We want to help you overcome the impulse to jump in and “save” your employees—because really, you just may be the one drowning them.

  1. Be a coach. Ask your people more questions about how they are doing and don’t offer up direction on how to do the entire project.
  2. Be ok with letting go. Learn to gauge when your people really need help, and when they need to figure it out on their own. You’re there for guidance.
  3. Be an influencer of their development. It’s really about your employees and helping them become the best version of themselves. Remember it’s not about you in the end.

Give your people the space they need to grow and the tools to get them there. You don’t want employees to be “hover co-workers” over each other. Remember that you are their support and leading example.



WorkCompass’s award-winning performance management software is built for progressive organisations. Some of the most successful organizations in the US use it to transform their appraisals from dreaded annual conversations focused on judging the past to ongoing coaching focused on improving performance for the future.

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