We play that when you send the 2 workers + any resource if required, you just remove the top card (not turning up the second card until next turn) and you get the amount of blue/red tokens right away.
No need to handle the card in your hand and so on.
You might want to reconsider that ruling. You're actually allowed to keep the connection card in your hand for future rounds. This is especially important as you lose any gained tokens at the end of the round if you haven't spent them. If you keep the card in your hand then you have more flexibility for the future.