The surface electronic structure of transition-metal oxide catalysts plays a decisive role in binding the intermediates of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) to the oxide surface, in turn influencing the catalytic activity of these materials. However, the approaches to modulating the electronic structure of surface metal ions are rare and far behind the demands. Here, we report a surface single atom decoration for adjusting the surface electronic structure of Co3O4, leading to enhanced electrocatalytic activity for OER, in which the isolated Ru single atoms were uniformly deposited on the surface of Co3O4 by an atomic layer deposition technology. As the OER catalyst, the as-made catalysts have exhibited a significantly enhanced catalytic activity (with increasing to 95.5 times) and a dramatically decreased overpotential. The density functional theory calculations reveal that the single-atom Ru acts as a promotor to adjust the 3d electronic structure of adjacent Co atoms and to tune the binding energy between intermediates and activity sites, finally leading to enhanced catalytic activity.